When the Brooklyn Nets are churning with as much offensive efficiency as they were on Sunday night at TD Garden, any opponent is going to struggle against them.
The Nets were ridiculously accurate in their 141-126 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 4, shooting 57.8 percent from the field, 59.3 percent from 3-point range and 96.7 percent from the free throw line.
The Celtics were not nearly as accurate, shooting 43.5 percent from the field, 34.1 percent from downtown and 90.5 percent from the line. As it turns out, their fans weren’t exactly accurate either — as evidenced when one fan decided to throw something at a Nets star.
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Celtics Fan Takes Aim at Kyrie Irving
The YES Network broadcast of the game caught a fan throwing a water bottle in the direction of Irving as he and his Nets teammates were heading toward the tunnel after the game had ended. The bottle narrowly missed hitting Irving.
Nets forward Tyler Johnson immediately turned toward the stands and started yelling in that direction. Irving — and the rest of the Nets contingent heading off the court and toward the locker room — also stopped walking to look at the stands and in the direction where the bottle had been thrown from.
Durant, meanwhile, didn’t mince words in condenming the incident.
“Fans got to grow up at some point,” Durant said afterward, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “Grow the f*** up and enjoy the game. It’s bigger than you.”
According to Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News, the fan was arrested for throwing the bottle at Irving. YES Network’s Michael Grady posted a photo to Twitter of a fan in a Celtics Kevin Garnett jersey being escorted by police from the stands in handcuffs.
“We know how these people are in Boston, and we know how passionate they are about Kyrie in particular,” Durant said, per Winfield.
The Nets took a 3-1 series lead with their win Sunday night, leaving themselves with a chance to seal the series at Barclays Center on Tuesday. If the Celtics win that game, Game 6 is scheduled for Thursday at TD Garden.
“Hopefully we don’t have to come back here this year,” Durant said after Sunday’s win in Boston, per Schiffer.
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Irving, meanwhile, had a lot to say about the incident.
“You’re seeing a lot of old ways come up,” Irving said, via SNY, “just underlying racism and treating people like they’re in a human zoo. Throwing stuff at people, saying things. There is a certain point where it gets to be too much.”
Here’s Irving’s full response, via SNY:
Another Bad Look for NBA Fans
The Celtics fan who was arrested Sunday night was just the latest in a recent string of incidents related to fans facing consequences for their actions at NBA playoff games.
A fan in Philadelphia poured popcorn on Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook earlier this week. And in New York, a Knicks fan spit on Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young toward the end of a game. Both fans were banned from each respective venue.
Durant has seen enough.
“I mean fans got to grow up at some point,” he said, via SNY. “I know that being in the house for a year and half with the pandemic, got a lot of people on edge, got a lot of people stressed out. But when you come to these games, these men are human. We’re not animals. We’re not in the circus. You coming to the game is not all about you as a fan. So have some respect for the game, have some resepct for these human beings, and have some respect for yourself. Your mother wouldn’t be proud of you throwing water bottles at basketball players or spitting on players or tossing popcorn.”