The Boston Celtics dominated the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, which included holding former star-turned-rival Kyrie Irving to just 12 points in the opener.

The relationship between Irving and the TD Garden crowd has been a contentious one following the guard’s departure from Boston in 2019. The boos rained down as expected, though Irving did not exactly credit the crowd for influencing his down night.

“It’s basketball at the end of the day,” Irving told reporters, as seen on ESPN’s postgame coverage. “Being in this environment, I’m used to it at this point. Earlier in my career, there was a different relationship I had with Boston. Just being able to come here and be settled with a veteran group. Now, I’m here as the veteran. Over the past few years just experiencing the playoffs here, even the regular season, it’s been the same thing.”

“I thought it was gonna be a little louder in here,” Irving added.

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The Dallas star shot just 6-of-19 from the field in the loss. In front of another Boston crowd in Game 2, Irving looks forward to another opportunity while recognizing this obvious environment around him against the Celtics.

“I’m expecting the same things going into Game 2 with the crowd trying to get me out of my element,” Irving explained. “… Just gotta stay confident and stay poised throughout this, man. This is the best time of year to be playing. There’s only two teams left. Let’s put it in perspective. The environment is going to be what it is. My focus is on our game plan and making sure my guys and I feel confident and continue to shoot great shots.”

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Irving and the Mavericks face falling behind two games to none when they return to battle the Celtics in Game 2 on Sunday night.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images