Boston Celtics Buzzer-Beater beats up Kyrie Irving and Nets

BOSTAN – There was a time when Celtics fans admired Kaira Irving. They may recall the summer of 2017 when Irving escaped Cleveland and landed in Boston, where he was enthralled by the Celtics ’glorious past and vowed to do his best to help the team win.

But in two seasons of Irving at the Celtics, all this public excitement grew into a bunch of different things: tolerance when he struggled with injuries, then impatience when he criticized his teammates, then something reminiscent of rage when it became clear that he and Boston related to divorce.

On Sunday afternoon, Irving returned to Boston, where a hot crowd at TD Garden christened the first-round game of the first-round Celtics round with the Nets, whistling to Irving at every opportunity. They whistled to him as he stepped out of the guest tunnel to warm up. They whistled at him while dating. They whistled at him every time he touched the ball. And he almost silenced them with another tour de force in their full careers.

But in the first match between teams with huge goals Jason Tatum brought the arena to a state of pandemics, stopping the buzzer that brought the Celtics a 115-114 victory. Game 2 in Boston on Wednesday.

“It was a pleasure for us, especially the way we started this year,” said Celtics guard Marcus Smart. “The sustainability we have, the approach, the work we put in and learn – we had to learn a lot of games at the beginning of the year.”

While the series continues, the Celtics will need to use all that knowledge against Irving, who was impressive in the first game. He scored 39 points and 6 assists, and his 3-point 45.9 seconds before the end brought the Nets ahead by 3 In the process, he reminded Boston why the city wanted him in the first place, emphasizing all the bitterness after that.

These feelings arose at different points in the game. At least twice Irving raised his middle finger at the fans sitting near the court. At his post-game press conference, he said people in the crowd were swearing at him and referring to him using clear expressions.

“It’s nothing new when I walk into this building that it will be,” he said. “But the same energy they have for me and I will have the same energy for them.”

He added: “Only so much do you take for a competitor. We are expected to be obedient, humble, and humble. No.

For most of the game, Irving allowed his game to speak. However, the Celtics were not intimidated at the last minute, and after Jaylen Brown went on leave, Kevin Durant of the Nets missed a long 3-point. At the other end, Smart found Tatum, who was spinning past Irving and stopped at his watch. It was his lightest bucket of the night.

“I think it’s a kind of microcosm of our season: the guys are moving the ball, playing selflessly,” said Celtics coach Udok. “It all came together in the last possession.”

Tatum scored 31 points and Brown 23. Smart played a stunning all-around game, scoring 20 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Durant scored 23 points and scored just 9 of 24.

For the second postseason in a row, the Nets and the Celtics meet in the first round. Last year, the Nets took the lead in five games in the series, which only fueled the dynamic between Irving, who seemed to be trampling on the Celtics logo in the center of the court, and Boston fans, one of whom threw a bottle of water at him.

This series also helped push for significant changes in the Celtics organization. Brad Stevens moved to head office after eight seasons as the team’s head coach. His job was taken by Udoka, a longtime NBA assistant and student of Greg Popovich, who seems to have unleashed the potential for cooperation between Tatum and Brown. Remember when the Celtics lost 23-24 at the end of January? They closed the regular season 28-7.

Udoka entered the series, unequivocally familiar with the Nets. Last season, as one of Steve Nash’s assistant coaches, Udoka met Irving and Durant – and their gifts.

Against the background of a sloppy and unsuccessful start, the Celtics’ highest defense gave the Nets attacks, forcing seven turns in the first quarter. The stars of the game – Irving, Durant, Brown and Tatum – together missed 12 of the first 14 attempts to score.

Irving started running early in the second quarter with a pair of three-pointers, the second pulling up in the transition. Before the Celtics started skating, the game was a draw 61 – a push predictably provided by their defense. At the end of the third quarter Jalen Brown blocked Bruce Brown with the Nets on the rim and then ran to turn the bench on the other end. Then came the Nets ’turn, but Tatum blocked Durant’s throw in the jump and then scored a three-pointer to increase Boston’s advantage to 11.

In the fourth quarter, Irving was virtually impossible to stop, scoring 18 points with 7 of 9 shots, paving the way for a dramatic end to the game.

“I don’t know there’s an atmosphere that would shock him,” Nash said, adding, “The guy did everything you could in the game.”

The Nets finished 7th in the Eastern Conference playoffs, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in Tuesday’s playoffs. The Celtics had an even bigger break, which took a whole week to prepare for, as they closed the regular season at number 2 on April 10.

The Celtics did not have Robert Williams, their defensive rim, the center of the fourth year. Williams had a breakthrough season when last month he tore a meniscus on his left knee and underwent surgery. Udoka said the Celtics were preparing as if Williams would not be available for the series, although Udoka did not rule out the possibility – albeit remote – of Williams’ return. “He’s progressing well,” Udoka said.

Before the game, the Celtics game operations team revived things on the arena’s video board. a flashing quote from Bruce Brown about how the Nets could “attack” Al Horford and Daniel Theis in the absence of Williams. (The crowd whistled.) Horford was delightful on Sunday, scoring 20 points and 15 rebounds and he was lively throughout the game. The presence of Williams, of course, would only strengthen the team’s hopes for the championship.

Networks are also used to waiting. They waited for Irving to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, and if he didn’t want to, they waited until New York canceled the vaccine mandates so he could play home games. Now the Nets are waiting – still waiting – until Ben Simmons comes out on the court for the first time since they bought him in the middle of the season in trade with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Simmons, who has not played since last postseason, has dealt with an unstable back since arriving in Brooklyn, and no one can imagine what he would have looked like if he had actually taken the floor against the Celtics. On Saturday, apparently, for reporters who followed his progress, Simmons soaked in practice.

“Make sure you get it,” he told those who filmed him on his cell phones.

On Sunday, Simmons wore mirrored sunglasses on a visitor’s bench when Irving and the rest of the Nets went about their business in a hostile environment. At least for one day, and with the slightest advantage, the Celtics were a more complete team.

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