Nets_Celtics_Basketball_00989

Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving drives against his former Celtics teammate, Jaylen Brown, during a preseason game Friday at TD Garden. Irving scored 17 points in Brooklyn’s 113-89 win. Mary Schwalm/Associated Press

BOSTON — Kevin Durant scored 25 points, Kyrie Irving added 17 points in his first game at TD Garden since leaving the Celtics, and the Brooklyn Nets rolled to a 113-89 win Friday night in Boston’s final preseason game.

Brooklyn raced out to a big lead in the first quarter and dominated throughout. The Nets made 16 of 35 3-pointers while holding Boston to 8-of-45 shooting from behind the arc. The Celtics shot 35 percent from the field overall.

Jayson Tatum led Boston with 19 points but made just 5 of 17 shots. Jaylen Brown finished with 16 points.

The teams meet again in Boston’s second game of the regular season on Christmas Day. The Celtics open their season Wednesday, at home against Milwaukee.

Before the game, Irving appeared to perform a spiritual ritual on the court. He circled the iconic parquet floor during pregame warm-ups, waving around a burning substance that appeared to be sage. He then snuffed out the plant in a dish.

According to WebMD, Native Americans burn sage – a practice known as smudging – “as part of a spiritual ritual to cleanse a person or space, and to promote healing and wisdom.” Irving’s mother, Elizabeth, was a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and Kyrie Irving was welcomed into the tribe in a 2018 ceremony.

A six-time All-Star, Irving played for the Celtics for two seasons before opting out of his contract and becoming a free agent. He was loudly heckled when he sat out with an injury during the Nets’ visit to Boston last November.

JAZZ: The NBA’s Board of Governors unanimously approved the sale of the Utah Jazz to a group led by technology entrepreneur Ryan Smith, ending the Miller family’s 35-year run as owners of the franchise.

The deal includes Vivint Arena, the team’s G League affiliate and management of a Triple-A baseball club.

Part of the sales agreement calls for the team to remain in Utah.

“Ryan Smith is a forward-thinking, community-minded entrepreneur and business leader who will be a fantastic addition to our league,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

Smith is a cofounder of the Utah-based firm Qualtrics, which was sold to SAP for $8 billion in an all-cash deal finalized last year.

HAWKS: First-round pick Onyeka Okongwu will miss at least the first two games of the regular season because of a foot injury.

The team said the 6-foot-9 center from Southern California was continuing his rehabilitation for an inflamed sesamoid bone in his left foot, including modified participation in contact practices. He has yet to be cleared for full team practices.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.