Keys to the Game: Nets 141, Celtics 126

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

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Celtics Playoffs presented by Putnam Investments & Arbella Insurance

Key Moment

Brooklyn has a whole lot of greatness on its roster. That greatness shone through during Game 4 Sunday night.

Boston’s best just wasn’t enough to contain Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving during a first half that provided the Nets with a lead they would never relinquish.

Durant carried Brooklyn with 17 points during the first quarter, and then Harden (15 points) and Irving (11 points) combined to score 26 during the second as the Nets pulled away. Brooklyn scored 40 points during the second period on 70.8 percent shooting to compile a 40-26 lead at the break.

Harden was at the center of the game-changing run, as he scored or assisted on Brooklyn’s first 23 points of the second period. All told, Harden scored or assisted on 32 of his team’s 40 points during the frame.

With Boston trailing by 14 at the break against a supremely talented offensive team, many stars would have needed to align during the second half in order to prompt a comeback. Unfortunately, none of them did.

Brooklyn’s Big Three remained hot, and the Nets ran away with a 141-126 victory.

Key Player

Jayson Tatum continued went toe-to-toe with Brooklyn’s best yet again Sunday night. This time, he just wasn’t able to come out with a win.

Tatum led Boston with 40 points to follow up his 50-point performance during Game 3. He shot 10-for-22 from the field 3-for-7 from beyond the arc, and a perfect 17-for-17 from the free-throw line. Those 17 makes from the charity stripe set a new career high, for the regular season or the postseason.

Per usual, Boston’s leading star didn’t stop in the scoring column. He filled out the rest of his box score with seven rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots. Those seven boards led the team.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Two players scored at least 40 points: Kevin Durant with a game-high 42, and Jayson Tatum with 40.
  • Brooklyn's Big Three of Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving combined to score 104 points.
  • Harden dished out a game-high 18 assists to go along with his 23 points.
  • Boston's two rookies, Aaron Nesmith (11 points, two rebounds) and Payton Pritchard (12 points, three rebounds, three assists, one steal), played very well.
  • Bruce Brown led all reserves with 14 points.
  • Both teams were outstanding from the free-throw line, where Brooklyn shot 29-for-30 (96.7 percent) and Boston shot 38-for-42 (90.5 percent).
  • Brooklyn tallied 11 blocked shots, led by a game-high four from Nicolas Claxton.
  • Irving scored 39 points and also led the game with 11 rebounds.
  • The two teams combined to commit only 19 turnovers.
  • Brooklyn shot 57.8 percent from the field, 59.3 percent from long range, and 96.7 percent from the free-throw line.
  • Jabari Parker came off Boston's bench to total 10 points and six rebounds in only 17-plus minutes of action.
  • Six Celtics combined to grab eight steals.
  • Marcus Smart led the Celtics with nine assists.

Quote of the Night

Marcus Smart on having a full crowd back in the building