The Brooklyn Nets looked like they might be poised to coast into the second round after two thorough wins to begin their first-round series against Boston. But at TD Garden on Friday, the Celtics battled back.
All the while, they had the rabid support of their fan base.
The Nets were pelted with jeers and unflattering chants during their 125-119 loss in Game 3, and it was more of the same during Game 4.
Actually, it was more of the same even before Game 4.
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Kevin Durant Trolled During Warmups
The game hadn’t even started. Most Celtics fans hadn’t even arrived at their seats. But no matter: the fans that were already settled did their best to make sure Nets star Kevin Durant was unsettled.
Ahead of tipoff, Durant was one of the last few Nets getting shots up as he warmed up. Normally a leisurely routine that’s meant to help a player get in a groove, Durant had the attention of everyone inside TD Garden.
“KD sucks! KD sucks!” they chanted. When he missed a warmup shot, they cheered. With each make, they booed.
Welcome to New York versus Boston.
Of course, the spiciest element in the mix of Nets-Celtics is Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn star who is facing his former team. So it’s no surprise — in fact, it was expected — that Irving was the punching bag for another round of dismissive chants from Boston fans. They were at it even before the game started — during pregame introductions.
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Irving Reacts to the Boos
Irving in particular was showered with boos in the series’ first game at TD Garden on Friday. Coincidentally, he had his worst game against the Celtics so far with only 16 points on 6-of-17 shooting.
Or perhaps it was no coincidence?
For his part, Irving wasn’t surprised by the reaction he drew in Boston.
“I mean, it’s basketball,” he said, via MassLive. “I’ve been in a few environments in my life so like I said, as long as it’s strictly the nature of basketball out there and there’s nothing extra, I’m cool with it. Just get some preparation with the team tomorrow and get prepared for Sunday. Going to keep it straight basketball.”
The Nets had to expect the crowd to be even more raucous on Sunday after TD Garden capacity limits increased from 5,000 to over 17,000 starting on Saturday. Irving certainly expected as much.
“We’re expecting a bigger crowd on Sunday,” he said, via MassLive. “Happy it was a great start to seeing what this environment is going to be like. Just looking forward to the challenge.”