BOSTON — The Nets wasted an excellent outing from Kyrie Irving and watched as Jayson Tatum stole Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round collection.
Tatum’s reducing layup, with Irving defending him, simply beat the ultimate buzzer and beat Brooklyn 115-114 earlier than a sellout crowd of 19,156 that shook and rocked TD Garden.
Irving had been unguardable in Sunday’s return to Boston, pouring in a game-high 39 factors. But the Nets squandered it, in a heated matchup that featured the Celtics followers jeering and booing and cursing Irving from the beginning, and the All-Star giving them the finger after a third-quarter 3-pointer.
“I wouldn’t say we’d like to avoid them in any way,” Irving stated earlier than the collection. “This is the best part of the story that could be written. We go against Boston and have a chance to redeem ourselves [for a shaky regular-season]. They have a healthy team, we have a healthy team; now we get to see who’s [better].”
On Sunday, the Celtics have been one play higher.
Irving had carried the Nets again from a 15-point third-quarter deficit, and a nine-point gap in the fourth. He gave them a 107-102 lead with 5:30 to play, however they couldn’t maintain it.
Boston closed on a 13-7 run.
With the sport knotted at 109-all, Kevin Durant (23 factors) acquired a shooter’s bouncer on a 13-foot baseline turnaround with 1:20 to play.
Boston huge man Al Horford’s put-back pulled the sport even with 59 seconds left. But Irving drilled an enormous 3-pointer 14 seconds later, sending the Celtics right into a timeout.
Jaylen Brown’s layup reduce Brooklyn’s lead to one with 38 seconds remaining, and, after Durant missed a compelled 3-pointer because the shot clock was expiring, Tatum (31 factors) did the remaining.
“Yeah, you know, at that point, it’s a little bit random,” Steve Nash stated. “They pushed it as a substitute of calling a timeout. I feel we took away the primary motion with Brown, went to [Marcus] Smart.
“I thought we were intelligent on that side of the action, but he got into a crack and somehow found Tatum, who made an intelligent cut. So you know, split second here and there and the game goes the other way.”
Nash didn’t suppose Irving could be impacted positively or negatively by the gang response to his TD Garden return.
“I’ve never really thought about it in those terms. You go and play ball and play hard and try to win the game. I don’t think you really worry about the fans,” Nash stated. “The followers are a part of the sport. I really feel prefer it’s such a component embedded in your career you don’t go into the sport worrying about followers.
“You go into the game worrying about performing. I don’t worry about Kyrie. Young players, they’re getting their feet wet in this scenario and some of that is a process. But once you’ve been there a few times, Kyrie’s been here a number of times. He’s been here proverbially in a playoff sense and hostile environments dozens of times. It’s not that I really think that has a huge effect on Kyrie.”
It was nonetheless tied at 63-all a minute into the third quarter, earlier than Brooklyn allowed 9 unanswered factors. Marcus Smart capped the Celtics spurt, and put Boston forward 72-63.
Brooklyn’s deficit swelled to 84-69 after Tatum’s free throws with 6:06 left in the quarter. The Nets nonetheless trailed 98-89 after Tatum’s free throw with 10:36 to play, however that’s after they rallied by ripping off 13 unanswered factors.
Irving introduced them again, his layup pulling Brooklyn inside 98-97. And after a frenzied sequence of our bodies flying everywhere in the court docket, the purpose guard discovered Durant for a go-ahead 3-pointer.
Brooklyn led by two, and Irving’s layup pushed it to 102-98 earlier than Jaylen Brown’s baseline dunk lastly broke the Nets run.
A Smart driving layup tied it once more, at 107-all with 3:16 to play. That’s when the actual drama began.