Celtics rise from 17 down to lead series 2-0 over Nets

Celtics rise from 17 down to lead series 2-0 over Nets

Jaylen Brown scored 22 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, and the Boston Celts recovered from 17 points to beat the Brooklyn Nets 114-107 on Wednesday night and take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.

Jayson Tatum added 19 points for the Celtics, who held Kevin Durant without a basket in the second half. Al Horford had 16 points, Daniel Theis had 15 and Payton Pritchard had eight of his 10s in the last period.

Durant finished with 27 points but struggled on the field for the second straight game, hitting 4 of 17. Kyrie Irving had just 10 points on 4-for-13 shooting a day after being fined $50,000 for directing obscene gestures and profane language at fans. Celtics during Game 1.

The series moves to Brooklyn for Game 3 Saturday night.

Durant and Irving made it 1-17 in the second half. Bruce Brown finished with 23 points and Seth Curry added 16.

Coach Ime Udoka said the approach for Durant is to get into his airspace as much as possible.

“I think we did it,” Udoka said. “We want to make him work defensively and offensively have bodies with him all the time and try to wear him down.”

The TD Garden faithful peppered Irving with boos throughout, starting with the pre-game performances. The volume increased after the snitch with the addition of “Kyrie sucks! Kyrie sucks!” chants in each of Brooklyn’s first two possessions. The boos came back whenever he got his hands on the ball.

Boston missed the entire first half, but finally reached the tie at 79 on a short jump from Daniel Theis. The Nets managed to settle down and took a 90-85 lead into the final period.

The Celtics tied again at 92 early in the fourth with a Jaylen Brown lead and took the first lead of the game with 7:48 remaining on a Pritchard jumper.

It was part of the 23-4 run that extended the Celtics’ lead to 108-96. The Nets went nearly three minutes without a basket during the stretch.

“I think our intensity dropped a little bit in the second half. We didn’t convert either,” said Nets coach Steve Nash. “We had opportunities, we didn’t convert.”

Bruce Brown said the Celtics outperformed them defensively.

“We just weren’t scoring the other side,” he said. “I just think our physique took a step down in the second half.”

The barrage of boos from fans at Irving did little to shake Brooklyn early. The Nets jumped to a 9-0 lead, which led to a quick Boston timeout. Bruce Brown had all nine points, part of a 12-point quarter that helped put Brooklyn ahead 33-24.

The lead increased to 45-31 in the second, leading to another Celtics timeout. During halftime, Marcus Smart, who injured his left thumb minutes earlier while diving to the ground after a missed ball, could be seen grimacing as coaches tended to him on the bench.

He put duct tape on his thumb and stayed in the game, scoring six straight points.

Brooklyn settled down to a 15-point lead before a late flurry from Boston helped slash the deficit to 65-55 in half.

Associated Press report.


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