The Boston Celtics swept the Brooklyn Nets with a 116-112 win in Game 4 in an affair that was pretty similar to the first three in this series. Both teams battled and nobody was able to take full control of it before crunch time, but the C’s pulled through for the series win.
The first half was tightly contested from the opening tip. Net’s star Kevin Durant had his best start to any game this series and looked more aggressive against the Boston defense. Even with Durant’s 18 first-half points, the C’s offense was clicking and they were able to weather that early storm and take a 58-50 lead into halftime.
The Celtics are statistically one of the best third-quarter teams in the league and they played like it tonight. Jayson Tatum scored 12 big points in the quarter, which matched his total for the first half. He was the key contributor to Boston increasing their lead to 15 points before the end of the quarter.
Things got a little dicey for the Celtics in the fourth quarter, but they built enough of a cushion to make some adjustments without losing their lead. The Nets cut that 15-point lead down to seven just before Tatum picked up his fifth foul of the game.
Brooklyn smelled blood in the water and ramped up their intensity so Ime Udoka had to put JT back in to close the game and lead his team to victory. This did not go exactly to plan as Tatum picked up his sixth foul with just a little under three minutes remaining. The Nets scored the next five points to cut the Celtics’ lead to just 1 point with a minute and a half to go.
Jaylen Brown knew it was his turn to step up and he made a clutch layup to put Boston ahead 111-108. A crucial missed free throw from Durant just forty seconds later was the nail in the coffin as Boston restored a two-possession lead with an Al Horford layup with 13 seconds to go. The Celtics were able to maintain that four-point lead and win wire-to-wire to complete the 4-0 sweep.
KD led all scorers with 39 points and added seven rebounds and nine assists. The two-time champ wasn’t very efficient but this was his best game of the series by far, it just came too little too late for Brooklyn.
Tatum lead the way for Boston with 29 points of his own. Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart also scored 22 and 20 of their own respectively. Grant Williams continued to have a huge impact off the bench by knocking down four of his six shots from deep.
This series was full of individual brilliance, especially from Tatum, but everyone on the roster deserves massive credit for the defensive effort they displayed. They held one of the greatest scorers of all time to arguably the worst playoffs series in his illustrious career.
They also kept Kyrie quiet in each of the last three games after he exploded for 39 points in Game 1. On top of that, the scoring was pretty evenly distributed and everyone made a big contribution in at least one game this series.
The Celtics will get a little time off as they await the winner of the Milwaukee-Chicago series. The Bucks currently lead the Bulls 3-1 and will play Game 5 this Wednesday night.
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