Durant gives candid take on his Game 1 performance vs. Celtics

Share

Kevin Durant is one of the best playoff performers of his era, but the Brooklyn Nets superstar didn't play well in his team's 115-114 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of their first-round NBA playoff series Sunday at TD Garden.

Durant scored 25 points on 9-for-24 shooting. He made only one of his five 3-point attempts and the Nets were outscored by 13 when he was on the floor.  

Despite his lackluster play, Durant still had a chance to secure a victory for the Nets on his team's final offensive possession. Durant's 3-pointer over Jayson Tatum hit the rim and fell into the hands of Celtics center Al Horford.

Forsberg: Why Tatum's buzzer-beater is a crucial step forward for C's

The Celtics came down the floor and won the game on Tatum's buzzer-beating layup.

Durant was critical of his play after Brooklyn's series-opening defeat, and he also praised the Celtics for their defensive effort.

"They did a good job forcing me away, helping in the paint. I just have to be more fundamental in my moves," Durant explained. "I feel like some shots went in and out for me today. I played fast and turned the ball over. I just got to slow down and play my game. But they did a good job of making me see bodies."

Durant later added: "I feel like teams are going to be designed to take away some of my catches and my opportunities. I've been dealing with it for a while. It's on me to just keep with it. I felt I got some good looks. Maybe I was rushing a bit. My fundamentals wasn't down -- trying to play before the help comes and sometimes I rushed my shots. It's about looking at the game and seeing where I can be better individually and shifting my mindset a bit as I start the game and see where I go from there. It's a journey, and I'm looking forward to the next game."

Perhaps Durant's biggest mistake came on Tatum's game-winner.

Durant was guarding Tatum on the perimeter most of the play, but when Celtics guard Marcus Smart decided not to shoot a potential game-winning 3-pointer, Tatum cut to the basket. Durant was caught napping and didn't pick up Tatum. It was a rare defensive lapse in crunch time for the Nets superstar.

"It's a 48-minute game and there are a lot of possessions. Obviously the last play was crucial," Durant said. "There are a lot of plays that matter and affect the outcome. We'll watch it and see where we can make adjustments."

The Nets would have stolen Game 1 and home court advantage in the series if Durant played just a little better offensively. It was a huge missed opportunity for Brooklyn.

Durant will be better in Game 2. He's a top 15 player in NBA history for a reason. But if the Celtics continue to make it hard on Durant by being physical with him and heavily contesting his shots, they should still be able to take a 2-0 series lead heading to Brooklyn this weekend.

Note: Games 2-6 of the Brooklyn Nets-Boston Celtics series will be aired exclusively on NBC Sports Boston and can also be streamed on NBCSportsBoston.com or with the MyTeams App, which you can download below.

Contact Us