Tue, Jun 1, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The Brooklyn Nets host the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, June 1 at 7:30 PM ET at the Barclays Center in game five of their first-round playoff series. The Nets lead the Celtics 3-1 and can send Boston packing for the summer with a victory in front of the home crowd tonight.
The Nets picked up a 141-126 victory over the Celtics in game four to move their lead to 3-1. Kevin Durant poured in 42 points to lead the Nets in the victory, while Jayson Tatum scored 40 in the losing effort for the Celtics. Kyrie Irving added 39 points for the Nets.
Irving was sworn at all game by the Celtics faithful in what was the first game at TD Garden with full capacity since prior to the pandemic. Irving was almost hit with a bottle thrown by a fan when he was walking down the tunnel to the locker room after the game.
"Fans have got to grow up at some point," Durant said. "I know that being in the house for a year and a half with the pandemic has got a lot of people on edge, has got a lot of people stressed out. But when you come to these games you've got to realize: 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 respect for the 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. So grow the (expletive) up and enjoy the game," he said. "It's bigger than you."
James Harden racked up a career playoff-high 18 assists in the Nets victory. Harden also had 23 points. The Nets will look to advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2014 on Tuesday night.
Irving’s 39-point performance came after he scored just 16 points in the Nets game three loss on Friday.
"It's Kyrie Irving. He didn't have a great game last time out. My money's on him any time after a performance he had," Brooklyn head coach Steve Nash said. "I loved his will, to take some of this adversity and have a great game."
It’s been a tough ride for Irving in his return to Boston after opting out of his contract with the Celtics in 2019 in order to join the Nets.
"We know how these people here are in Boston. We know how passionate they are about Kyrie in particular — they're still upset at him," Durant said. "That's no reason for them to act childish. Glad we got the ‘W.' Hopefully, we don't have to come back here this year."
The Nets enter tonight’s game five as -12.5 point favorites over the Celtics. They also have a -950 money line. No matter how you bet this game, be sure to put your money on the Nets to advance in front of their home crowd.