Keys to the Game
Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

The Brooklyn Nets threw the first punch in Game 3 Friday night, as they got out to a 19-4 lead over the Boston Celtics through the first three minutes and 24 seconds of action at TD Garden.

But the Celtics punched right back, and it was in the form of a knockout blow.

After going down by 15 early, the Celtics finally got going behind Jayson Tatum, who scored field goals on three consecutive possessions to cut Boston’s deficit down to nine. Then Tatum passed the scoring bug onto Marcus Smart, who made two straight driving lay-ups, including an and-one bucket.

Tatum and Smart would combine for 24 points during the opening frame, which ended with a Smart 3-pointer that put the Celtics ahead 33-32. And after that, Brooklyn never led again.

The Nets may have thrown the first punch Friday night, but the one-two punch of Tatum and Smart responded with the knockout blow that eventually allowed the Celtics to ring the bell for a 125-119 win.

Key Player

Jayson Tatum not only had the best game of his postseason career Friday night, but he also reached a significant milestone in the process.

Tatum poured in a playoff-best 50 points, while shooting 16-of-30 from the field, 5-of-11 from 3-point range and 13-15 from the free-throw line. And his 44th point of the night was a big one, as it made him the third-youngest player (23 years, 86 days old) in NBA history to reach 1,000 career points after Kobe Bryant (22 years, 263 days and Tony Parker (23 years, 23 days).

Tatum had never even reached the 40-point mark in a playoff game prior to Friday night, but he locked in that total by the end of the third quarter. He then became the first Celtics player since Isaiah Thomas on May 2, 2017 to log a 50-point playoff game, and of course, he's the youngest in franchise history to do so.

On top of his scoring, Tatum also corralled six rebounds, dished out seven assists, and snagged two steals during 41 minutes of action. He did a little bit of everything in Game 3, logging the best game of his postseason career, while making history in the process.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 50 points.
  • James Harden (41 points) and Kevin Durant (39 points) combined for 90 points.
  • Marcus Smart logged 23 points while shooting 8-of-11 from the field.
  • Tristan Thompson coralled 13 rebounds, including nine on the offensive end.
  • The Celtics led by as many as 17 points, and trailed by as many as 15 points.
  • Neither team's bench scored more than 11 points.
  • James Harden (10 assists) was the only Nets player who had more than two assists.
  • Boston out-rebounded the Nets, 46-37.
  • Both teams made 16 3-pointers.
  • Romeo Langford was plus-21 in 27 minutes of action.

Quote of the Night

We talked about playing with an edge constantly the last two days ... Our job is to meet that challenge, and tonight we did a good job of that.

Brad Stevens

Key Player
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