Kyrie Irving applauds Celtics fans with Game 5 gesture after brutal taunts from former team in Mavs defeat

Dallas Mavericks star Kyrie Irving applauded Boston Celtics fans with a hand gesture where he held up all five fingers several times.

The underlying message is that the Mavericks will return to the TD Garden for Game 5 after the Celtics won the first two games of the NBA Finals on their home court.

Dallas would have to lose both of the next two games of the championship series, both at the American Airlines Center, to avoid returning to Boston.

Irving played for the Celtics from 2017-2019, and his quick departure to the rival Brooklyn Nets made him a villain in Boston.

Boston fans chanted at Irving as he left the court, and he’s an easy target. This led to Irving raising his hand as he walked into the tunnel.

Kyrie Irving raised his hand several times after Sunday’s 2 loss to the Mavericks

Irving played for the Celtics from 2017 to 2019 before leaving for the rival Brooklyn Nets

Irving played for the Celtics from 2017 to 2019 before leaving for the rival Brooklyn Nets

During Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, Irving was a team-worst -19 in plus-minus. He scored 12 points in 37 minutes in the series opener.

Irving was just a -3 plus-minus in a 16-point performance during Sunday’s Game 2 loss.

Those performances are below the standard Irving set for himself, especially when he played alongside Luka Doncic.

Irving won an NBA title earlier in his career, along with LeBron James, with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

Now, at 32, the back half of Irving’s career is well under way, and his chances at championships will only diminish.

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Dallas will need to beat Boston in four of their next five games to win the trophy this season.

Doing that against a roster with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and others seems like a huge task, especially with at least one more game coming up at TD Garden to clinch the series for the Mavericks.


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