August 19, 2022

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Warmth’s Kyle Lowry dominated out Sunday vs. Hawks resulting from hamstring pressure

Kevin Durant’s former teammate believed the Nets star was overwhelmed down by the Celtics to the purpose of give up throughout his Recreation 3 dud.

“The Celtics have snatched the Nets soul,” Kendrick Perkins said on the Celtics postgame show for NBC Sports activities Boston on Sunday. “They’re punking them. They’re punking KD. They executed made Kevin Durant give up. He had no curiosity in any respect in enjoying this recreation. He was not engaged.”

Durant, 33, managed simply 11 photographs in Saturday’s 109-103 defeat to the Celtics, sending the Nets right into a 3-0 collection gap and requiring a victory Monday to keep away from an embarrassing sweep.

Kyrie Irving additionally struggled Saturday whereas scoring simply 16 factors on 6-for-17 capturing.

“Take into consideration this for a second,” Perkins mentioned. “Some folks have been saying that KD and Kyrie have been probably the most expert duo of all time. And what did we simply witness? We witnessed the Boston Celtics make each of these guys give up throughout a vital Recreation 3 at house.

“That’s why I’ve the Celtics profitable the championship this yr. As a result of in case you may do this to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, you may do it to anyone else within the NBA.”

Perkins, now a media character with ESPN, performed with Durant for 5 seasons in OKC after profitable a title with the Celtics in 2008. His evaluation of Durant giving up in Recreation 3 appears overblown, nevertheless, for the reason that Nets’ recreation plan Saturday was for the previous MVP to play off the ball.

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Durant mentioned he devised the scheme after watching movie of his offense being stifled in Video games 1 and a pair of. However he rapidly second-guessed the technique.

“The primary two video games I simply felt like there wasn’t a whole lot of house for me to function to attain, so I didn’t need to power it (in Recreation 3),” Durant mentioned. “Perhaps that’s the unsuitable determination coming into this recreation. Perhaps I ought to have been extra aggressive to attain.”

Durant is averaging simply 22 factors within the collection on 38.5% capturing, properly beneath his playoff profession averages of 29.4 factors on 47.6% from the sector. One other principle is that Durant and Irving are gassed after logging heavy and intense minutes to finish the season, a necessity of falling into the play-in event.

Coach Steve Nash agreed with that premise and added that Irving’s fasting for Ramadan is taking a bodily toll.

“They’ve each obtained to be drained,” Nash mentioned. “Kyrie’s fasting and Kevin’s needed to play 40-plus minutes for 5, six weeks after lacking six, seven weeks (with a knee damage). We wanted him to play 40 minutes or we wouldn’t be within the playoffs or we’d be tenth within the play-in. I’m certain that’s taken a giant toll on Kevin. He’s carried an enormous burden for us for weeks on finish.

“Kyrie as properly since he’s been enjoying house and on the street and fasting, it will possibly’t be straightforward. I am going play tennis and if I haven’t eaten I really feel like I’m going to fall over so I can’t think about how he feels in an NBA playoff recreation. … I really feel for him. I really feel for these guys.”

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Durant disputed his coach’s excuse.

“I don’t suppose fatigue set in,” he mentioned. “I really feel good enjoying. I’m not winded. My physique doesn’t harm. I wouldn’t blame it on that.”