How Nets star Kevin Durant has fared vs. Celtics over NBA career

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Durant's history vs. Celtics proves why he's their toughest matchup originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

For a few brief weeks in the summer of 2016, it looked like the Boston Celtics had a shot at landing Kevin Durant. Now, they have the unenviable task of trying to stop him.

The superstar forward chose the Warriors over the Celtics in 2016 free agency and won two NBA titles in Golden State before joining the Nets, who will face Boston in a first-round NBA playoff series that begins Saturday night in Brooklyn.

Celtics Talk Podcast: Will Kyrie, Nets dominate first round playoff series vs Celtics? | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Durant has played in fewer games against the Celtics over 14 seasons than All-Star counterparts Kyrie Irving and James Harden. But he's arguably been the most lethal of the trio versus Boston -- even after missing an entire season due to an Achilles injury.

After breaking down Irving and Harden's history against the green earlier this week, we finish our series with a look at how Durant has fared versus Boston, from a statistical breakdown to his most memorable performances.

Here are Kyrie Irving's stats in 23 career games against the Celtics.

Dec. 27, 2007, Celtics at SuperSonics: KD's coming-out party

The Celtics realized very early on that Durant was a special player. KD dropped 25 points on 10-of-23 shooting as rookie in his first career game against a loaded Boston team that entered the game 23-3.

The C's won 104-96 in Ray Allen's first return to Seattle since being traded to Boston in the summer to form the "Big Three" alongside Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

Jan. 26, 2019, Celtics vs. Warriors: Durant outduels his future teammate

Durant (33 points, nine rebounds) and Irving (32 points, six rebounds, 10 assists) put on a show at TD Garden in a back-and-forth affair during KD's final season in Golden State.

Both stars hit big buckets down the stretch, but Durant's Warriors pulled out the 115-111 victory -- and KD didn't have to wait long to see Kyrie again.

Feb. 17, 2019: The "hallway video"

It's not an on-court performance, but we had to include this. A video surfaced of Irving (then with the Celtics) and Durant (then with the Warriors) talking prior to the 2019 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte, sparking speculation that the two were plotting to team up.

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Turns out that speculation was right.

Dec. 25, 2020, Celtics vs. Nets: Durant dazzles on Christmas Day

Durant only played in one of Brooklyn's three matchups with Boston this season, but he made it count.

Highlights: Durant & Kyrie lead Nets to blowout on XMas

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In just his second non-preseason game since June 2019, Durant was a well-oiled offensive machine, with 29 points in 33 minutes on 9-of-16 shooting (3 for 4 from 3-point range).

While Irving and Harden make highlight reels, Durant is the most efficient player of the group. He can score at will on all three levels, and at 6-foot-10, he can get his shot off against virtually any defender. (Boston's tallest big who sees regular minutes is 6-foot-9 Tristan Thompson.)

Forsberg: Six questions we want answered in Celtics-Nets series

If there's a silver lining for the C's, it's that Durant shoots below his career 3-point average versus Boston. But if KD is in full form, he'll be the most difficult player to stop in this series.