Kyrie sends message to Celtics fans after Mavs lose in Game 2

Kyrie sends message to Celtics fans after Mavs lose in Game 2 Originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Kyrie Irving can’t help himself.

Dallas Mavericks star He insisted that he had grown up Ever since he stepped on the Boston Celtics logo and turned on TD Garden fans in previous playoff games against his former team, he… More focused on playing basketball From going back and forth with a hostile crowd.

But there was Irving Provoking the park crowd amidst a “Kerry’s bad!” hymn at halftime, and giving the final word to Celtics fans as he walked off the court afterward Dallas lost 105-98 in Game 2 on Sunday That dropped the Mavs into a 2-0 series hole.

“See you in (Game) 5,” Irving appeared to say to the crowd as he held up five fingers, signaling that his team would win at least one of its next two games in Dallas to avoid being swept in the series and setting up Game 5 again. at TD Garden next Monday.

Irving is certainly not the first player to make this move. Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards A similar guarantee was made in Denver After Minnesota’s Game 5 loss to the Nuggets, he then backed up his talk by forcing (and eventually winning) a Game 7 on the road. Irving also has experience coming back from 2-0 NBA Finals deficits, as his Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in seven games in 2016 after trailing 2-0 and 3-1 in the series.

If Irving wants to repeat that result, he will need to dramatically up his game between the whistles.

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The eight-time All-Star has been abysmal offensively through two games, averaging just 14 points (12 in Game 1 and 16 in Game 2) on 13-of-37 shooting. He’s 0-for-8 from 3-point range in the series and is -22 in 78 minutes of play.

Irving’s struggles against the Celtics aren’t new either: he’s now lost 12 consecutive matches He returned to Boston on March 6, 2022, when he was a member of the Brooklyn Nets. He’s averaging just 19.7 points over those 12 games while making just 41.1 percent of his field goals and 26.4 percent of his 3-point shots, including… 0-fers in four of his last five postseason games against the Celtics.

Irving’s lack of production has held the Mavs back significantly, as they haven’t had a player outside of Luka Doncic score 20+ points in these Finals. Players not named Doncic made just 2 of 17 3-pointers in Game 2, as Dallas got almost no production from Irving or his players.

Irving has been better at home in these playoffs — averaging 24.1 points and 5.3 assists over eight games in Dallas — so perhaps he will emerge from the chaos of Games 3 and 4 without the Garden crowd at his throat. But if that’s the case and he gets his wish to return to Boston for Game 5, another performance like Irving’s on Sunday could potentially end the Mavs’ season.

Game 3 is scheduled for Wednesday at 8:30 PM ET, on NBC Sports Boston Celtics Pregame Live Starts at 7pm ET.

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