BOSTON — The Celtics held Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving in check throughout Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but before continuing the series Sunday night, an interesting measure was taken, which erupted the crowd.

Moments before Irving and Dallas exited the players tunnel and took the floor, TD Garden’s jumbotron plastered an instigating quote the 32-year-old made when speaking with reporters about Game 1.

“I thought it was gonna be a little louder in here,” Irving said, per league-provided transcript, when asked about the unwelcoming Boston reception.

That quote got the crowd going, warming up an uproar of boos and “Kyrie sucks” chants as Dallas warmed up before pregame introductions. Taking the trolling a step further, the Celtics even presented Irving’s statistics from Game 1 — 12 points, the second-lowest in Irving’s Finals career, and 32% shooting from the field, the lowest in his Finals career.

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Challenging the Boston crowd, which always reminds Irving that he’s not welcomed back at TD Garden, maintained the energy throughout the first quarter, booing Irving on every touch. And in response, Irving scored eight points on 4-for-5 shooting as Dallas took a 28-25 lead into the second quarter.

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The Celtics, up 1-0 in the series, seek a favorable 2-0 lead before Irving and the Mavericks defend their home floor in Dallas for Games 3 and 4.

Featured image via Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports Images