Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving combine for 42 points in Nets' 113-89 win over Celtics

·2 min read
Kevin Durant dunking against Celtics
Kevin Durant dunking against Celtics

AP- Kyrie Irving circled the Boston Garden parquet floor performing an apparent spiritual ritual by waving a burning substance in his hands before tipoff, then proceeded to torch his former team.

After receiving hugs and high-fives at midcourt before tipoff from former teammates Tristan Thompson, Marcus Smart and others, Irving got down to business and handed out some punishment to the Boston Celtics. He scored 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting and had seven rebounds, five assists and two steals helping the Brooklyn Nets rout the Celtics 113-89 on Friday night in the final preseason game for both teams.

Irving’s full game was on display.

He knocked down a 3-pointer over Semi Ojeleye from the left wing after creating a smidgeon of space with a pump fake. He drove the lane and knocked down a 15-foot step-back jumper with Jaylen Brown draped over him. And he delivered a picture-perfect pass to teammate Kevin Durant for another bucket.

Kyrie’s mother, Elizabeth Irving, was a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and Kyrie was welcomed into the tribe in a 2018 ceremony. Native Americans practice “smudging,” which is a spiritual ritual to “cleanse a person or space, and to promote healing and wisdom,” according to WebMD.

Irving opted out in the summer of 2019 and was heckled persistently when he returned to Boston with the Nets, though he didn’t play because of a sore shoulder. There were no fans in the new Boston Garden on Friday night, and his introduction was greeted with a faint, fake cheer.


At Boston, Kevin Durant was 9 of 16 from the floor and scored 25 points and Caris LeVert had 18 points as the Nets jumped out to a 62-44 halftime lead and didn’t look back. Jarrett Allen had nine points and 11 rebounds in the victory.

“Those guys are in a good position to start the season,” coach Steve Nash said of Durant and Irving. “Obviously it’s not ideal. But considering what we’ve been able to put together here in 18 days, couldn’t ask for much more.”

Jayson Tatum had 19 points and Jaylen Brown added 16 but the Celtics couldn’t get much of a contribution with from anyone else and continued to struggle without injured point guard Kemba Walker on the court.

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