Kyrie gives Celtics fans the middle finger after tough jumper (0:23)

Irving throws up a middle finger at the Celtics fans after he knocked down a tough jumper from the corner. (0:23)

8:49 PM ET

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving flipped off several Boston Celtics fans on two separate occasions during Sunday's 115-114 loss in Game 1 and said he was responding to words he heard from the crowd.

Irving made it clear after the game that he would have the same energy that they had for him.

Irving said after scoring a team-high 39 points in 42 minutes that he was used to all these antics and people being close by.

I don't want to attack every Boston fan. There is only so much you take as a competitor when people start yelling. We are the ones who are expected to be submissive and take a humble approach. This is what it is.

Since leaving the Celtics, Irving has gotten used to being booed by fans. Irving has dealt with more ire from the fan base over the last couple years.

Prior to the season, Irving said he wanted to sign a long-term contract with the Celtics, only to change his mind at the end of the season and sign with the Nets. A person in the crowd threw a water bottle at Irving as he made his way off the floor after stepping on the Celtics logo at center court.

In the week leading up to that game, Irving acknowledged that he heard some racist comments from the crowd at times.

Irving said after the game that he knows what to expect. It is what it is. I'm not focused on it, it's fun, you know what I mean? You relish it as a competitor because you have dealt with so much. This is not the first time I have been to the TD Garden, so what you guys saw, what you think is entertainment, or the fans think is entertainment, all is fair in competition.

If someone calls me out on my name, I will look at them straight in the eye and see if they really are. Most of the time they are not.

Irving, who was booed loudly throughout the day, took exception when a reporter asked about the Hostility from the Boston crowd -- noting that this isn't the first time that he has flipped off a fan during a game.

Irving said it was the first time he caught it because it was a big-time game. I am not trying to focus on that. If you want to ask me questions about the fans, ask them. Ask them questions on the street.

Irving was quick to say that the Boston crowd brought out the best in him.

Irving said to embrace it. The dark side is what it is. Don't let it get you down.

Irving's teammates and coaches were confident that he would play his best in this environment.

Nets coach Steve Nash said that the guy made the game-winning shot in the Finals. He was the All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player. I don't know if any atmospheres will rattle him. He has an off night if he has an off night. The crowd is not a factor for Kyrie. This guy has done all he can in the game.

Nets star forward Kevin Durant said that he didn't think he worried about it. The shot-making was amazing tonight. I think he is the same player regardless of where he is.

Did the fans cross the line on Sunday?

KD said he wasn't focused on the fans. It is what it is. It is a part of the sport.

After an early March loss to the Celtics, Irving compared Boston fans to a "scorned girlfriend" and has reiterated leading into this series that he felt it was time for fans to move on from his short Boston tenure. He was asked if he thought it was possible now.

Irving said that they should talk about their possessions and how they can get better. I will not focus on the past with Boston. I work for the Brooklyn Nets. I am happy to be with my teammates and competing.