There are teams in the Playoffs who despite falling behind come back from behind to in the series. There are also players who avoid getting swept with their pride as a great player on the line. The Brooklyn Nets find themselves in a similar situation as they are down 0-3 in the series against the Boston Celtics. With homecourt advantage, the Nets will be looking to win one game and start their momentum of a comeback from there.
The Brooklyn Nets went with their starting lineup of Kyrie Irving, Seth Curry, Bruce Brown Jr, Kevin Durant and Andre Drummond. The Boston Celtics started with Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford and Daniel Theis.
With the opening tip, the Celtics started hot with no intention to even leaving a single game for the Nets to capitalize on. They went on an 8-2 run before Durant broke the streak. The Celtics everchanging gameplan has worked so far in the series and they changed their strategy for this game as well.
Having only a single man marking Durant and focusing more on the offensive end was how they decided to play. Naturally Durant went on a tear but the Celtics relied on their team unselfish plays and got the ball into the basket very efficiently.
In the 2nd quarter, the Celtics started spacing the floor and hitting 3s. Jayson Tatum and Grant Williams took charge of the scoring and they knocked their shots in. The Nets needed both Kyrie and Durant to step up. Durant was putting up points on the board but he was missing a lot as well. Kyrie was simply manhandled by Marcus Smart so he could not get it going. The Celtics took the lead ending the 1st half 58-50.
Once the 3rd quarter started, Tatum took charge on the offensive hitting tough turnaround fadeaways over defenders. The Nets needed Durant to replicate it but he was stumped by the defense. So the Nets resorted to their team play which was not smooth as the Celtics but the shots were falling. The lead grew in favour of the Celtics and the Nets kept lagging behind.
In the 4th quarter, Durant realized it was the moment of truth and he went on the offensive attacking the basket. Dragic followed up Durant’s performance and he was draining 3s as well. The Nets made a chance for themselves when in a play Dragic and Tatum got tangled up, resulting in Tatum fouling out. The Nets realized that they cannot let this opportunity.
Dragic and Durant lit up and cut the deficit to 1 point. But that was when Marcus Smart decided to end the game. He proceeded to first make a 3. Then he made a shot after grabbing an offensive rebound. This put the Celtics up by 5 points. The Nets tried to come back but they couldn’t ultimately losing the game and the series.
Kevin Durant had his best scoring in the series with 39 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists and 1 steal. Seth Curry followed him up with 23 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Kyrie Irving put up 20 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks. Nicolas Claxton filled the statsheet with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks.
Jayson Tatum led his team in scoring despite fouling out with 29 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists. Jaylen Brown supported him with 22 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. Marcus Smart had a decent game with a double-double of 20 points, 11 assists and 5 rebounds. Grant Williams came off the bench to put up 14 points, 3 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Celtics move on to the 2nd Round
The Celtics shocked the entire NBA by winning game 4 and the 1st round series with a 4-0 sweep over the Nets. It can be said that the sweep was a sweet revenge from the Celtic’s part for the humiliation they suffered the last playoffs both of them matched up.
This series was predicted to be a close one going till 7 games. On top of that the Nets were favorites to lift the title. The Celtics dominating them is a wakeup call for the rest of the league to be wary of them. The Brooklyn Nets’ roller coaster of a season came to an end and they now have major decisions to make entering into the off-season.