BOSTON — After winning nine of their first 10 games, the Celtics are being rewarded with their longest road trip of their season.

The team with the best record in the NBA will be playing five games over eight days, with three of them in California.

The western swing begins Friday night against the short-handed Golden State Warriors.

Since losing on opening night to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Celtics have been unbeatable despite dealing with injuries. Their nine-game winning streak is the longest since putting together 16 straight victories in the early part of the 2017-18 season.

“I think we feel good,” said Jaylen Brown. “I think we’re excited. This will be a really good test for us. The first road trip (three games last week) was kind of like a teaser. Now this is like the real thing, a long road trip with some tough games.

“We’ll see what we’re made of. We’ve got to come out and be ready to play.”

Kemba Walker has been taking charge, especially in the fourth quarter, and is leading the way, averaging 25 points while shooting 44 percent from 3-point range. Walker has been getting plenty of help from Brown and Jayson Tatum and the rest of the players who are jelling quickly.

“We’ve got a lot of basketball in front of us,” said Brown. “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. I’m not making too big of a deal out of it. We’ve just got to come out and keep winning, don’t put too much pressure on us.”

TRAIL BLAZERS: A person familiar with the details says Carmelo Anthony is returning to the NBA with PortlanD.

The 10-time All-Star hasn’t played since a short stint with the Houston Rockets ended a little more than a year ago after just 10 games. But the Blazers hope there is still enough game left in the 35-year-old forward to help them overcome a 4-8 start.

NETS: Guard Caris LeVert had surgery to repair ligaments in his right thumb.

LeVert was hurt Sunday in Phoenix and missed his first game of the season Tuesday in Utah. He returned to New York and had the procedure Thursday at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

The Nets did not give a timetable for his return. LeVert is averaging 16.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

CLIPPERS: Paul George was set to make his season debut against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night.

George, a six-time NBA All-Star, was acquired by the Clippers as a free agent this past offseason. He has been recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

Coach Doc Rivers says he’ll have George on “visual” minute restrictions, meaning he’ll remove him from the game when he looks tired.

HAWKS: Guard Kevin Huerter is expected to miss at least two weeks because of a left rotator cuff strain.


HEAT 108, CAVALIERS 97: Rookie Kendrick Nunn scored 23 points, Bam Adebayo had 16 points and 15 rebounds, and Miami won at Cleveland.

Miami led the entire game and was up by 27 points in the third quarter. The Heat (8-3) have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

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