Celtics Starter Responds to Heated Viral Moment With Nets Star Kevin Durant

Evan Fournier responds to exchange with Kevin Durant

Getty Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets.

The first two games of the series haven’t exactly gone quite the way the Boston Celtics had hoped they would. On the heels of a 22-point beatdown at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets, the C’s now trail 0-2 in the series, looking fairly outmatched more times than not. Yet, Evan Fournier didn’t let any of that deter him from hitting Nets star Kevin Durant with what appeared to be some awfully vulgar verbiage during the second half of Tuesday’s bout.

Trailing 98-74 at the end of the third quarter, Fournier got physical with Durant on the block, leading to a loose ball foul call. In the midst of arguing his case to the refs, Durant said something to Fournier which clearly didn’t sit well with the Celtics sharpshooter. The two would go on to exchange words before being separated — yet not before Fournier hurled a few choice words back in Durant’s direction.

The consensus amongst internet lipreading aficionados is that Fournier called Durant a “b***.” Have a look for yourself and draw your own conclusion:

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Fournier Responds to K.D. Exchange

While he didn’t exactly keep it cordial on the court, Fournier — albeit somewhat short in his response — didn’t seem all too fazed about the situation while talking to reporters during his postgame interview. Fournier refused to delve into the exact details of the exchange. Instead, he asserted that his run-in with Durant was nothing more than just another day of playoff basketball.

“With K.D., there’s nothing to say really. It’s just playoff basketball,” he said.

‘Life-and-Death Situation’

While Fournier and Durant’s exchange certainly drew in headlines, the former knows his Celtics have far more pressing issues to worry about.

“Game 3 is obviously kind of a life-and-death situation,” Fournier admitted following the loss, hoping that a return to TD Garden can help resurrect life back into the Celtics and the series as a whole. “They [Nets] did their job. They won two games at home, and now we have to do ours. Obviously, I don’t have to tell you guys that being down 3-0 is not a good place. So we have to regroup, stay focused, stay locked in, learn from our mistakes and just be ready for a battle, period.”

Fournier struggled mightily in Game 1, scoring just 10 points on 30.0% shooting from the field in 39 minutes. The 28-year-old got his groove back somewhat in Game 2, hitting on 4-of-5 shots from beyond the arc. However, he attempted just nine shots total on the night — not what you’re looking for when Jaylen Brown is out of the lineup and Jayson Tatum is struggling (and hobbled).

The Celtics have been far too inconsistent on the offensive end as a whole this series. And while they will undoubtedly need to pick things up in their return to Boston on Friday, head coach Brad Stevens believes that their best hope of keeping pace with the high-octane Nets is to elevate their play defensively.

“Listen, our offense was pretty good when we were down eight or nine,” Stevens said, via The Athletic. “I think what needs to change is we need to be way more solid defensively, we need to set our defense, we need to get back. There’s going to be times when you tip your cap and run back and you gotta score. We can’t be opening up things via mistake, right? We’ve gotta be very sound in what we do and we’ll go back to work and go back to see what we can do personnel-wise and scheme-wise to try to play better in Game 3.”