Kyrie Irving played his best game of the season in Game 4 of the Nets’ first-round series against the Celtics, cramming TD Garden with 39 points and 10 rebounds to help lead the visitors to a halt. Remarkable double digit victory
In the moments following the victory Irving congratulated his teammates on the field. He appears to have stomped on the Celtics logo at midcourt before heading back to the Nets locker room.
Irving was not asked about the post-match stomping. But talk about what led to his turn in Game 4 in front of the frenzied Garden crowd.
“I̵7;ve been part of a lot of this hostile environment since I was a kid,” Irving said. “It wasn’t the first time in my life that I had to bounce back from one of my unusual types of performances. in terms of the big stage And I can’t do it alone, so during the last day Just spend time with your teammates. Take time for myself and have conversations to keep me balanced and grounded. And get out there and have fun and play basketball at a high level. I am grateful to be able to put on my uniform and go out with some of the men who are selfless and want to see good basketball out there, and we do little things to help each other win.”
Former Celtic and Irving team-mate Kendrick Perkins talks about Irving’s apparent crunch on the Celtics logo after the game on NBC Sports Boston.
“This is it,” Perkins said. “When you compete and you get yelled at and people yell at you and you get in there and you drop 40 points. How will one react or celebrate?
“I don’t know, maybe a little nervous. It wasn’t that he went and said loudly to the bench. Look, I can’t tell Kyrie how to celebrate. After he encountered a monster night after being booed. It’s like I can’t tell a man how to behave. I’ve seen some players standing on the table in the opponent’s court. I can’t tell anyone what to do after they have a monster return in a playoff game after dealing with what he’s dealing with.”
Irving’s team-mates also praised Irving’s mental strength after the win following the reaction he drew from the garden crowd during the last two games at Boston.
“Kyrie went through a difficult time in his life off the basketball court. So he entered here. This is his refuge,” Kevin Durant said. He knows that everyone in the line respects him as a player, as a person and that his team-mates support him.” We are not worried about dealing with this crowd. Everyone cursed every player in this league. He’s out here and wants to play better than the last game. And he came out here and was executed.”
“For him, all the emotions or whatever was in his mind. I’m sure there are a million things on his mind,” James Harden added. “He went out there. block everything and be yourself And from the guy who might say he wasn’t playing his best game 3 came in and had a killer instinct. killer idea And has the will to win the game. 4. It shows that he is aggressive and when Ky is aggressive like that. No one could protect him. That gives our team energy as well. great effort from him A huge effort from our team.”
Irving and the Nets will try to close the series in Game 5 at Barclays Center on Tuesday night.