It was a nail-biting Game 1 in the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs between the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets. Kevin Durant, who ended up on the losing side, was not at all pleased with his contributions.
Jayson Tatum won the game for the Celtics with a spin move on Kyrie Irving to beat the clock and convert on the layup. Neither team could get any separation as there were 20 lead changes, but the Celtics successfully fended off the Nets.
In his post-game interview, Durant praised the Celtics' game plan while also berating himself for his subpar performance.
"They did a good job of forcing me away and then helping in the paint. I just got to be more fundamental with my moves. I feel like some shots went in and out for me today, but I played fast and turned the ball. I just got to slow down and play my game, but they did a good job of making me see bodies," Kevin Durant said.
Shutting down Durant, who is easily the best scorer in the league, was the best course of action for the Celtics, and it worked in their favor.
Despite their defensive masterclass, the two-time NBA champ finished the game with 23 points. However, his shot-making was poor, shooting 37.5% (9 of 24) from the field and 20% (1 of 5) from beyond the arc.
Credit to Boston's defense for forcing KD to take some ill-advised shots, which hurt the Nets. It was uncharacteristic of him, as he usually does a great job of getting to his spots and shooting over the top of any defender.
Can Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets win Game 2?
Losing either of these teams in the first round will be terrible, but that is expected in the playoffs. For the Nets to stay in the series, a win in Game 2 is crucial.
Head coach Steve Nash will be happy with how his team played in Game 1. Although they were not great defensively, they went head-on against the second-best defense in the league and came really close to winning the game, even with a poor outing from Kevin Durant.
Kyrie Irving was unstoppable once again, despite several attempts by the C's to trap him. He saw his fair share of bodies but always found a way to get his shots up. The All-Star guard finished the game with 39 points, five rebounds, six assists, and four steals.
If the Nets get the same production from Kyrie Irving, and Durant plays a bit better, there is a chance they will take Game 2. Winning at TD Garden will be a huge boost for the Nets before returning to Barclays Center for Games 3 and 4.