Celtics

Morning sports update: Kendrick Perkins thinks the Celtics ‘just don’t want to play’ after Game 2 loss

"First of all, the Boston Celtics should be ashamed of themselves."

Celtics Nets
The Celtics and Nets during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first-round series. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Celtics were routed by the Nets in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference first-round series on Tuesday night, 130-108.

The series now returns to Boston for Game 3 on Friday at 8:30 p.m.

Also on Tuesday, the Red Sox lost to Atlanta, 3-1.

And the Bruins continue to await an opponent for the next round of the NHL playoffs. Game 6 of the Islanders-Penguins series gets underway tonight at 6:30 p.m. The winner will face Boston. New York leads the series, 3-2.

Kendrick Perkins on the Celtics’ Game 2 performance: Even before the start of the Celtics-Nets first-round playoff series, former Celtics center Kendrick Perkins made it clear where he stands on current Boston head coach Brad Stevens.

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Following Stevens’ pre-series comments — in which he called Brooklyn “the best of the best,” and that “as a fan of the NBA, it’s hard to see those guys losing” — Perkins accused Stevens of not showing “Celtic Pride.”

“That wasn’t Celtic Pride, and no I wouldn’t want to play with Brad Stevens,” Perkins said on May 20. “I cannot go to war with a coach that is sitting up here praising and glorifying an opponent that I possibly could upset. How about going and saying hey, we’re going to be prepared, we’re going to be ready?”

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So after Boston’s blowout loss in Tuesday’s Game 2, it wasn’t surprising when Perkins continued his direct criticism.

“First of all, the Boston Celtics should be ashamed of themselves,” Perkins said in an interview on SportsCenter. “That’s first thing first, all right?”

“I’m not taking anything away from the Brooklyn Nets,” Perkins added. “I thought they came out and did what they were supposed to do. They punished the Celtics for having a lack of intensity. Joe Harris, should I call him Joe ‘Buckets,’ was out there getting money. Kevin Durant was doing what he does best, out there scoring at will.”

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Perkins had a straightforward conclusion.

“The Boston Celtics just don’t want to play,” said Perkins “That’s all it is. They don’t want to play.”

On Twitter, Perkins’ view of the series was that it looked like “a preseason game.”

Trivia: What player did the Celtics trade alongside Kendrick Perkins in the 2011 deal that sent him to Oklahoma City?

(Answer at the bottom)

Hint: Multiple time Slam Dunk Contest champion.

More from Boston.com:

Ohtani watch: Shohei Ohtani walloped his 15th home run of the season on Tuesday, sending a full-count fastball out of the ballpark with an exit velocity of 117 miles per hour. It’s the hardest hit home run by an Angels player since statcast began tracking exit velocity, and the sixth hardest-hit home run this season. (The hardest hit home run in 2021 was by Red Sox outfielder Franchy Cordero on Sunday, when he clobbered a 474-foot moonshot that went out at 118.6 miles per hour).

On this day: In 1987, with the Celtics on the brink of defeat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pistons, Larry Bird pounced on Isiah Thomas’ inbounds pass to set up the winning basket to Dennis Johnson.

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“The message is clear,” wrote Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe. “If you want to beat Larry Bird in a big game, you’ve got to play the full 48 minutes. Forty-seven minutes 56 seconds isn’t enough.”

Boston would go on to win the series in seven games.

Daily highlight: Martin Necas’ speed created a clutch wrap-around goal for the Hurricanes in the third period of Carolina’s eventual playoff win against the Predators on Tuesday night.

Trivia answer: Nate Robinson

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