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Brooklyn Nets close in on series win as Big Three breeze past Boston, fan arrested for throwing water bottle

Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden combined for 104 points.

nets-celtics-basketball Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Source: Elise Amendola

THE BROOKLYN NETS are one game away from the next round of the play-offs with Kevin Durant scoring 42 and Kyrie Irving 39 in a 141-126 win over the Boston Celtics.

The Nets lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 and were in control at the TD Garden early, taking a 13-point lead into half-time.

Harden added 23 for the Nets – with the Big Three accounting for 104 points – while Jayson Tatum led Boston’s scoring with 40.

Boston police arrested a basketball fan for allegedly tossing a water bottle at Nets players as they left the court following the win.

The bottle landed between Irving and Tyler Johnson, who both stopped and looked up into the stands at the Boston Garden to see where it came from.

Irving said after the game that he felt the bottle was meant for him. The incident happened just moments after Irving seemingly wiped his shoe on the Celtics logo at center court as he congratulated his teammates on the 141-126 win.

“You can see that people just feel very entitled out here,” Irving said about the bottle toss. “We’re not at the theatre. We’re not throwing tomatoes and other random stuff at the people that are performing.”

The fan was escorted out of the arena by Boston police and arrested, a venue spokesperson told the Boston Herald.

“A guest was arrested by Boston Police at the end of tonight’s Boston Celtics game for throwing an object,” the spokesperson said. “We will support and provide assistance to Boston Police as this incident is under review. We have zero tolerance for violations of our guest code of conduct, and the guest is subject to a lifetime ban from TD Garden.”

There has been bad blood between Irving and Celtics fans since the player left Boston under a cloud of controversy in 2019 to join Brooklyn.

Irving, playing this week in front of Boston fans for the first time since his departure, was showered with boos every time he touched the ball.

His Nets teammateDurant said some fans were crossing the line.

“Fans got to grow up at some point,” Durant said. “We are not animals; we are not in the circus… Have some respect for the game. Have some respect for the human beings, and have some respect for yourself. Your mother wouldn’t be proud of you throwing water bottles at basketball players or spitting on players or tossing popcorn.”

This is the latest in a series of hostile acts aimed at players by NBA fans.

Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook had popcorn dumped on his head by a fan in Philadelphia, while Hawks guard Trae Young was spat at by a fan in Madison Square Garden but not hit.

The father of Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant said he was the object of racial slurs from Salt Lake City fans.

Elsewhere overnight, the Atlanta Hawks overcame the New York Knicks 113-96 to lead their series 3-1.

New York’s Julius Randle was limited to 23 points, while Trae Young scored 27 for Atlanta and Danilo Gallinari added 21 from the bench.

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The Los Angeles Clippers led with 9:30 left in the first quarter and did not look back to level their series with the Dallas Mavericks 2-2 with a 106-81 victory.

Kawhi Leonard top scored with 29, while Paul George added 20 in the win in Texas.

Elsewhere, the Phoenix Suns drew their series level with the Los Angeles Lakers at 2-2 with a 100-92 victory.

All five Suns starters finished with double figures while only one Laker managed the same feat, LeBron James scoring 25.

- with reporting from © – AFP, 2021

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