Boston Celtics

Mavs' Lively unimpressed with Boston crowd: ‘Didn't think it was that loud'

"I thought it was going to be worse."

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Dereck Lively II apparently wants to join Kyrie Irving as a Boston villain for the 2024 NBA Finals.

The Dallas Mavericks rookie took a shot at Boston Celtics fans while speaking with reporters on Tuesday. Asked what he expects from his home crowd in Wednesday's Game 3, he downplayed the hostile environment in Games 1 and 2 at TD Garden.

"They're going to be loud. I honestly didn't think (Boston) was that loud," he said. "There's a bunch of rumors about how Boston can be so loud, so nasty. I thought it was going to be worse. So just knowing that, it just makes you want to go out there and perform in front of your own crowd."

Lively's comments echo Irving's from after Game 1, when the ex-Celtic said he "thought it would be louder." The Garden crowd responded with loud boos and "Kyrie Sucks" chants when Irving's quote was shown on the Jumbotron before Game 2.

C's fans weren't given many reasons to get loud in Game 1, a nearly wire-to-wire win in which Boston led by as many as 29 points. Outside of a brief third-quarter run, Dallas hardly put up a fight worth the crowd's energy.

Game 2, a far more competitive matchup, was noticeably louder. The decibel count at TD Garden was through the roof on multiple occassions, including Payton Pritchard's halfcourt buzzer-beater to end the third quarter and Derrick White's potentially game-saving block late in the fourh.

If Lively is expecting a louder crowd at American Airlines Center, he's setting himself up for disappointment. It's wishful thinking for the 20-year-old big man as the Mavs need any advantage they can get to keep from falling to 0-3 in the series.

Dallas needs much more out of Lively to have any shot at mounting a comeback. Throughout the first two games, Lively has totaled four points with four turnovers and six fouls.

Tip-off for Game 3 is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday. NBC Sports Boston will have coverage starting at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live.

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