Brooklyn Nets vs Boston Celtics NBA Playoffs Preview
Preview, Prediction and Picks
In the first quarter of Game 2, the Boston Celtics struggled to defend Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.
The Brooklyn Nets simply adapted to Boston's strategy of defending their stars with a moving ball clinic and in the confusion were on their way to a 2-0 lead in their conference first-round series.
The Nets are hoping to get another early start, while the Celtics are hoping the opening minutes will play out in a very different way Friday night when the series moves to Boston for Game 3.
The Nets are seeking a 3-0 series lead for the first time since their first sweep over the New York Knicks in 2004, and Game 4 is Sunday.
Brooklyn forward Jeff Green will miss the remainder of the first round playoffs with a strained left plantar fascia.
Green left Brooklyn's 130-108 win Tuesday after playing 12 minutes with what was initially called a bruised left foot. He will be reevaluated in 10 days and could be available for the next round of the playoffs if the Nets advance.
Brooklyn opened the series with two drastically different results. In Game 1, the Nets trailed 12 before taking the lead in the closing minutes for a 104-93 victory as Durant, Harden and Irving combined for 82 points and the Nets shot 41.7% and totaled 18 assists.
On Tuesday, the Nets took control early, taking a 14-point lead after the first quarter, a 24-point lead at halftime en route to victory. Joe Harris scored 25 points and hit seven 3-pointers to tie a franchise-record in the playoffs and the Nets finished with 31 assists and shot 52.3 percent.
In the first quarter, Harris scored 16 points, including 11 in a row, and scored three 3s in 80 seconds. Harris produced his big night when the Brooklyn Big 3 totaled 61 points and 18 assists.
Although the Nets had an easy victory, they do not plan to sail to Boston, where Irving will play in front of fans for the first time since he left the Celtics in free agency after the 2018-19 season.
Boston's biggest concern is not the reaction of the fans waiting for Irving, but finding a way for Jayson Tatum to avoid falling into a hole from three games to zero for the first time since he was swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round. in 2015.
Tatum scored 50 points in a play-in win over the Washington Wizards, but so far has been mostly neutralized, scoring 31 of 9 of 32 points from the court against the Nets. He started the streak by making three of his first six shots, but is 6 of 26 after the first quarter of the first game and scored nine points in 21 minutes on Tuesday before leaving the game after the third quarter when he was pushed. eye. by Durant.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens described Tatum's eye as "quite swollen," but also said he expects him to play on Friday.
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