Player grades: Kevin Durant scores 31 points as Nets fall to the Celtics

The Brooklyn Nets hosted the Boston Celtics on Sunday and lost 103-92. This was the first of four games that the teams will play between now and March as Boston leads the regular-season series 1-0.

Kevin Durant had 31 points, seven rebounds, and five assists for the Nets while Kyrie Irving had 18 points and eight rebounds. Joe Harris scored 13 points and had six rebounds,

Jaylen Brown had 34 points, 10 rebounds, and four blocks for the Celtics while Jayson Tatum had 29 points, 11 rebounds, and four steals with nine turnovers. Malcolm Brogdon had 13 points and seven assists off the bench.

Boston was essentially in control of the game from the beginning. Every time Brooklyn made a run, Boston made a play or three to quell the Nets’ momentum and go up by six to eight points.

Durant was the offense for the Nets in this game and the Celtics have too good of a team defense for one person to beat them. The Nets looked fatigued with head coach coach Jacque Vaughn going only eight players deep in the rotation. The Nets lost this game because of poor ball-handling  and poor transition defense.

Here are the Nets’ player grades for their loss to the Celtics:

Kevin Durant: B

Durant had some trouble shooting in the early going. He was able to shoot the ball over guys like Tatum and Williams. But, Durant had trouble finishing at the rim over the length of the Celtics. He also had issues guarding Tatum, but was active overall on the defensive end by coming up with some impressive steals and blocks.

Kyrie Irving: C-

Irving did a good rebounding the ball for the Nets, but that was about the only good thing he did in this game. He had a few good finishes in the first half, but outside of that, Irving struggled mightily to shoot the ball. It looked like the length of the Celtics bothered him as he was shooting contested shots all game. Defense was a major issue for Irving as he was being repeatedly blown by on the dribble or was unnecessarily helping one pass away thereby letting his man get a good shot or forcing the defense to scramble as Irving took himself out of the play.

Royce O'Neale: C

O’Neale was ice cold shooting the ball in this game. He did a decent job helping on the boards which was crucial since there were a lot of rebounds to be had. O’Neale struggled to guard Brown especially in the first quarter, but as the second half wore on, O’Neale played much better defense on Brown.

Nic Claxton: B+

Claxton did a good job of scoring near the basket when he either got a good pass from a teammate or going after the ball on an offensive rebound. He did have some trouble owning the paint in the early going, but he did a much better job in the second half deterring shots at the rim. Claxton made Horford essentially a non-factor all game.

Joe Harris: B

Harris was excellent shooting the three-ball for the third straight game as his confidence continues to soar. One noticeable thing was that Harris did a much better job of being ready to shoot when the ball came to him and he made the most of his opportunities. However, Harris had issues staying in front of the ball all game and it led to numerous breakdowns in the Brooklyn defense.

Seth Curry: F

Curry is known as a scorer in the NBA, but he’s been unable to find his shot recently. Once Curry gets going, there’s little you can do to stop him. However, Curry struggles to do anything against length and athleticism and that was the case in this game. Also, all he did was foul as he was in foul trouble for essentially the entire game.

Cam Thomas: D-

Thomas was all over the place in this game. He did not make much of an impact scoring the ball and it looks like he had issues knowing when to shoot and when to pass. Thomas was unable to get anything going on either end of the floor and his defense was a detriment to the team which is why he only played seven minutes.

TJ Warren: C-

Warren was unable to recreate the magic that he had against the Raptors as he struggled with his shot in this game. He looked comfortable out on the floor, but just couldn’t get his shot to fall as he took some tough ones. He did give an admirable effort in helping on the boards and his length gave the Celtics some issues.

Story originally appeared on Nets Wire