Cameras Caught Kyrie Irving Telling Celtics Home Crowd He’ll Be Back for Game 5

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

What started as a seething stomp on TD Garden’s iconic leprechaun logo has culminated in a very poor, out-of-character NBA Finals showing for Dallas Mavericks’ Kyrie Irving three years later.

In Sunday’s 105-98 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the series, Irving put up another clunker of a performance at TD Garden, shooting 7-of-18 for 16 points with two turnovers in 41 minutes.

Despite having lost 12 consecutive games against his former team, Irving didn’t let Game 2’s defeat faze him. After the final whistle, Irving walked through crowds of jeering Boston fans on his way to the locker room and appeared to hold up his palm to signal he would be back for Game 5. 

A 2-0 series hole isn’t an all too unfamiliar situation for Irving, who memorably helped the Cleveland Cavaliers come back from behind in the 2016 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Still, the eight-time All Star has struggled against the Celtics’ fortified defense and has made only 13 of his 37 shots from the field—while going 0-of-8 from three—through the first two games of the series.

Game 3 and Game 4 of the series will be held at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Should the Mavericks avoid a Finals sweep, a potential Game 5 is scheduled for Monday, June 17 in Boston.

Kristen Wong


Kristen Wong is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. She has been a sports journalist since 2020. Before joining SI, Kristen covered four NFL teams as an associate editor with the FanSided NFL Network and worked as a staff writer for the brand’s flagship site. She has written about soccer, the NFL, NBA, and MLB since 2020, and outside of work, has dreams of running her own sporty dive bar.