Kyrie Irving was met with a packed stadium of boos and taunts, but silenced them with his play before responding after.
A sellout crowd at the TD Garden couldn’t drown out an electric performance by Kyrie Irving in Game 4 Sunday night.
After getting booed by few thousand fans in Game 3, Irving was met with a sonic wall of angst by a capacity crowd — the first time in over 15 months either the Celtics or Nets had played in front of that kind of a crowd.
Nothing was too out of the ordinary for most of the game, but as Irving silenced the crowd with his 39-point performance in the Nets resounding beat down of the Celtics, hints turned ugly.
Irving was the intended target of a fan who threw a bottle at the Nets as they walked into the tunnel after the game.
Kevin Durant addresses Celtics fan who threw bottle at Kyrie Irving
In his postgame press conference, Kevin Durant addressed the incident and called out not only the Celtics fan in question but all fans who have been acting uncivilized in their return to live sporting events.
“We’re not in the circus,” Durant said. “Your mother wouldn’t be proud of you throwing water bottles at basketball players. Grow the [expletive] up and enjoy the game. It’s bigger than you.”
This is the fourth incident so far in the playoffs involving fans attacking players or their families. Russell Westbrook had popcorn dumped on him while leaving the court, Ja Morant’s family was subject of verbal abuse and harassment, and Trae Young was spit on by a Knicks fan.
TD Garden also issued a statement on the incident saying it would cooperate with police.
Fans have barely been allowed to attend games again, but instead of it being an overwhelming moment of catharsis it’s a reminder of how dangerous it can be to have them there.