new york (ap) jayson tatum was stunned, but sure. He didn’t agree with his sixth foul, but he had no doubt that the Boston Celtics, with their rock-solid defense, would hold out without his scoring star.
”I couldn’t believe it at all, but I think we’re made for it,” Tatum said.
could be built for a championship.
Reading: Box score nets vs celtics
tatum scored 29 points, jaylen brown had 22 and the celtics completed a four-game sweep of the brooklyn nets, becoming the first team to reach the second round of the playoffs with a 116-112 win on monday at night.
marcus smart added 20 points and 11 assists for no. 2-seeded Celtics, who made easy work of what was thought to be a difficult series. boston will await the winner of the series between milwaukee and chicago, where the defending champions hold a 3-1 lead.
The Celtics showed no fear of Nets, who along with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving did not have the profile of the typical low seed. boston won the final day of the regular season instead of losing to drop down the standings and avoid the matchup.
Turns out there was no reason to worry.
”It’s fun for us, because we don’t duck or dodge anybody,” smart said. “We knew what we were going to do here.”
durant had 39 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, coming off after the celtics defended him well in the first three games. but he failed to give the networks the victory they needed to extend what instead becomes a huge flop of the season.
expected to be a contender for the nba finals, the networks needed a strong finish just to grab no. 7 seeds.
seth curry scored 23 points for nets. Irving, whose unavailability for home games for much of the season due to him not being vaccinated against the coronavirus contributed to the Nets performing below expectations so far, scored 20 points.
”A lot of things can go into why we lose, but they were just a better team,” Durant said.
The Celtics were under .500 at the midpoint of their season, but went 31-10 from there, with Tatum emerging as the potent scorer on one of the best defensive teams in the NBA.
That defense limited the duration to just 19-of-52 shooting with 17 turnovers in the first three games and made it tough for him, even as he finally got more shots to drop on Monday. he was just 13-for-31 from the field, 3-for-11 from behind the arc.
lost in the first round for the first time since 2010 with oklahoma city, the first playoff series of his career. he had won nine straight first-round series.
Tatum had 12 points in the third quarter and the Celtics opened up a 90-75 lead in the final seconds of the period. but he went to the bench with a fifth foul with 8:17 remaining and the nets made a push that put them within three points about three minutes later.
tatum fouled out with the celtics leading by six with 2:48 left. Irving hit a 3-pointer and Durant scored to cut the score to 109-108 with 1:28 remaining. But after a basket by Brown, Durant was only able to make a free throw and the Celtics ran down the court, with Al Horford stopping Smart’s error to make it 113-109 with 13 seconds left.
with durant, irving and james harden, the nets began the season as a team that looked potent enough to win their first nba title. But Irving didn’t play at all at the beginning of the season, and not long after he returned to playing only on the road, Harden got sad and the Nets sent him to Philadelphia in a trade for Ben Simmons.
Nets expected Simmons to make his debut for them in Game 4, but he was ruled out Sunday with more sore back pain that has troubled him since shortly after arriving in a midseason trade with Philadelphia.
irving said his emotions were “disappointment, a little sadness, because we didn’t play as well as a team as we wanted.”
Nets were down just 45-44 with 3:29 left in the second quarter. But Grant Williams made three 3-pointers from then until the end of the half, the last one giving Boston a 58-50 lead.
celtics: boston swept their first round series for the third time in four years. The Celtics beat Indiana in four games in 2019 and Philadelphia in 2020 at Walt Disney World. they lost 4-1 in the first round to the Nets last season. . Williams scored 14 points and Horford 13.
nets: bruce brown scored just two points after having 26 and 23 in the previous two games, the first time he had consecutive 20-point games in his career. . nic claxton scored 13 points. He was 6-for-6 from the field but 1-for-11 at the free throw line, and he missed his first 10 before converting his last when the Celtics intentionally fouled him.
Coach Steve Nash said he didn’t want to speak for Simmons, but acknowledged there was a mental side to him beyond the physical issues he faces. Simmons cited mental health issues as one of the reasons he looked to leave Philadelphia and didn’t suit up for the 76ers this season.
”I think ben has mentioned that there’s a mental component to what’s going on, but it’s not my place to talk about how much and where he is with that,” nash said. “But organization-wise, we’re really pushing to support Ben in any way we can to help him get better physically and get back on the court, and then the mental side of that is integral to that. they’re not separate, they’re not something we don’t want to deal with. we want to help him if he needs help in any aspect of his life and the game of him “.