Wild game 1: Nets lose to Celtics at buzzer. Irving explains middle fingers
Jayson Tatum scored a miraculous layup as time expired to secure the Celtics’ 115-114 win over the Nets in game 1 of the first round of the playoffs. The last five minutes of the game were extremely frantic, nerve-racking and adrenaline-charged.
Boston led by as many as 15 points, but then saw its lead crumble in the fourth quarter.
Tatum finished with 31 points in 45 minutes. Al Horford backed him up with 20 points and 15 rebounds, six of which offensive.
For the Nets, impeccable performance for the ex Celtic Kyrie Irving, with 39 points and a massive fourth quarter. Irving has some unpleasant interactions with Boston’s fans. He seemed to show his middle finger to the people a few times, but questions about the hostility of the fans bothered him.
Irving and the middle fingers to fans
“When they say pussy or fuck you, bitch, there’s only so much you can take as a competitor. We are the ones who are expected to be docile, be humble and take a humble approach,” Irving explained. “Nah…Fuck that, it’s the playoffs. It is what it is. I know what to expect in here and it’s the same energy I am giving back to them,” he said about playing at TD Garden. He then refused to answer other questions about the impact of the fans’ energy on his game.
“There is no hostility, it’s basketball,” he said. “It’s the dark side. Embrace it.”
From the bench, good game for Goran Dragic with 14 points.
Boston contains Durant
Boston’s defense got to tame Kevin Durant’s unbelievable scoring talent, containing him to a 9-of-24 and 23-point performance.
“They did a good job forcing me away and then helping in the paint,” Durant commented about Boston’s defense on him. “Just gotta be more fundamental with my moves. Some shots went in and out for me today, but …I played fast and tried to ball…I just gotta slow down and play my game.”
Thanks to an Irving’s 3-pointer, the Nets were up by three points with under a minute left. Boston scored a quick layup.
Durant missed a jumper with a one-point-lead just before the Celtics’ final possession that closed the game at the buzzer.
“It was a scramble play. They made a couple passes…had a quick play,” Durant said about the last possession.
Game 2 will be in Boston at 7P.M. on Wednesday.
The series between n.2 Celtics and n.7 Nets is much closer than expected. A tough loss for Brooklyn, by just one point and with a buzzer-beater. Will this motivate the Nets or hurt their confidence?
“This is a tough loss man,” Durant said twice in the post-game presser.
How are the players going to regroup, reset and learn from their mistakes? “You look at where you had some positives and try to carry those over onto the next game,” Irving explained. “Really just cool down, give yourself a chance to reflect. It’s kind of crazy we gotta come in here and answer all these questions right after the game like that. But it’s just part of the business,” Irving said about the post-game press conference.
“You look your teammates in the eyes and tell them that we can get them next game. Still one here on their home floor. That’s gonna be tough obviously, but we go for it. We did some good things tonight. Some things we could clean up on, as things that we can control. Like their offensive rebounding…Being up 3 with 45 seconds (left) is obviously not safe in this building. It’s just part of being in the playoffs and being on the journey.”