Blake Griffin on Nets' Game 3 Loss to Celtics: 'I Don’t Know If Our Spirit Was Right'

Erin WalshApril 24, 2022

BROOKLYN, NY - APRIL 23: Blake Griffin #2 of the Brooklyn Nets and Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics jump for a tip ball during Round 1 Game 3 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2022 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets fell to the Boston Celtics 109-103 in Game 3 of their first-round playoff matchup at Barclays Center, and Blake Griffin believes he and his teammates didn't do enough Saturday night to avoid a 3-0 series deficit. 

“I don’t know if our spirit was right tonight," Griffin told reporters after the game. 

"Obviously, nobody's even remotely happy or content," Griffin added in his postgame press conference. "We're all frustrated."

Nets Videos @SNYNets

"I don't know that our spirit was right tonight."<br><br>- Blake Griffin <a href="https://t.co/P1Jjvr5FOV">pic.twitter.com/P1Jjvr5FOV</a>

Nets Videos @SNYNets

"Defensively, we just haven't been a cohesive unit"<br><br>Blake Griffin discusses the biggest challenges for the Nets in this series: <a href="https://t.co/xbxWA7OIbx">pic.twitter.com/xbxWA7OIbx</a>

Griffin, who played off the bench, finished the game with eight points, one rebound and one block in eight minutes. 

The Nets, mostly Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, appeared off their game throughout Saturday's contest. Irving finished with 16 points on 6-of-17 shooting from the floor, and he failed to make a three-pointer on seven attempts. Durant, meanwhile, finished with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor and 2-of-3 shooting from deep. 

For reference, Celtics star Jayson Tatum outscored Irving and Durant combined, finishing the game with 39 points. 

NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins even brought up the fact that both Irving and Durant appeared lifeless in his postgame comments on NBC Sports Boston's broadcast.

Celtics on NBC Sports Boston @NBCSCeltics

"The Celtics have snatched the Nets soul... they done made Kevin Durant quit." -<a href="https://twitter.com/KendrickPerkins?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KendrickPerkins</a> didn't mince words after the Celtics win <a href="https://t.co/OJfOZ92Z2r">pic.twitter.com/OJfOZ92Z2r</a>

Irving and the Nets haven't quite been themselves throughout the duration of this first-round series against the Celtics. The veteran point guard even appeared defeated after losing Game 2, telling reporters Wednesday that Boston's window to win is here. 

"I just think the timing is right," Irving said. "Their window is now for these young guys that are on this team that have matured. They’ve been through series together, they’ve been through seasons together, they’ve been through battles together."

Following Saturday's loss, Nets head coach Steve Nash also mentioned that both Irving and Durant are experiencing a lot of fatigue at this point in the season. He mentioned the fact that Irving is fasting for Ramadan and Durant is being forced to play 40-plus minutes per game. 

Nets Videos @SNYNets

"They've both got to be tired. Kyrie's fasting and Kevin's had to play 40+ minutes for 5-6 weeks after missing 6-7 weeks"<br><br>Steve Nash talks about the fatigue Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are facing at this point of the season: <a href="https://t.co/nRq4OJo0zY">pic.twitter.com/nRq4OJo0zY</a>

While no team has come back from a 3-0 series deficit, the Nets' lineup is expected to get a boost in Monday's Game 4 with the return and debut of Ben Simmons, who the franchise acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers at the trade deadline in exchange for James Harden.