The clock ticked in the direction of 0 and alongside the Nets sideline two destiny Hall of Famers with extra than two hundred playoff video games among them appeared shook. This became a game Brooklyn needed to win. Needed to win. Should have gained. A 10-factor halftime lead. Help from the helping solid. A Celtics protection that in the first half of allowed the Nets to shoot sixty-one%. A team with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving would kick the game away to lose this one.
The stars were now not constantly shining shiny in Game 2 between Brooklyn and Boston.
The Nets’ Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant and the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum didn’t have their excellent offensive games.
But Brown and Tatum had simply enough shine and just enough assist from their teammates to extract a 114-107 victory in another competitive, excessive-intensity recreation that appears extra like a convention finals matchup as opposed to a 2-7 first-spherical series.
Brown shook off his offensive struggles via 3 quarters and scored 10 factors inside the fourth as the Celtics took manage, outscoring the Nets 29-17 inside the very last region. Boston, which trailed by using 17 in the first half, didn’t take its first lead till 7:forty nine of the fourth quarter.
Brown completed with 22 points, and Tatum had 19 factors, 10 assists, and six rebounds.
The Celtics very own a 2-0 series lead, and Game three is Saturday (7:30 p.M. ET, ESPN) in Brooklyn.
Celtics restriction Durant once more
Durant completed with 27 factors, but 18 got here on unfastened throws. He was simply 4-for-17 from the field — after nine-for-24 in Game 1. The Celtics’ sports plan isn’t a secret. “We must do our component and remain aggressive and physical defensively and not take a seat back and await him to be in assault mode,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said.
From Marcus Smart to Al Horford, the Celtics have used several defenders on Durant in Game 2. On a few possessions, the Celtics had been so physical, that Durant bounced around like a pinball, and Celtics defenders had their fingers poking at the basketball every time Durant caught it.
Durant became 0-for-10 from the sector within the 2nd half of, and four of his six turnovers caused 9 Celtics factors.
The Celtics have made a tactical decision. Let Bruce Brown (23 points), Seth Curry (sixteen factors), and Goran Dragic (18 points) score. Just don’t permit Durant to score 30 or greater with excessive efficiency.
Others helped the Celtics win
Tatum and Brown have been just OK offensively — a combined 14-for-32 with seven turnovers — and Brown really wants to show on his offense within the fourth sector to shoot 50% for the game.
While Tatum and Brown didn’t have their offense within the first three quarters, others picked up the scoring. Horford had sixteen factors, six rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block and is supporting the Celtics in compensating for Robert Williams’ absence as he recovers from knee surgical treatment.
Center Daniel Theis had 15 factors, forward Grant Williams had 17 factors and six rebounds off the bench and reserve defend Payton Pritchard scored 8 of his 10 points in the fourth area.
Irving takes destroy for meals and fluids
Irving is watching Ramadan and fasting (no meals or fluids) from sunup to sundown. With 3:09 left inside the first quarter, Irving headed to the locker room for snacks, inclusive of fruit, and fluids.
Irving, who had a special performance in Game 1 with 39 factors, had just 10 factors on a four-for-13 shooting in Game 2.
Celtics fanatics vs. Irving
The NBA fined Irving $50,000 for obscene gestures and profane language directed at fans in Game 1.
There is a history between Boston and Irving, who performed for the Celtics and intimated he might re-sign with them in 2019. Instead, he signed with the Nets in the course of the free corporation.
It regarded Irving evaded obscene gestures and profanity. Celtics fans, but, serenaded Irving with appropriate boos and beside the point “(Expletive) Kyrie” chants.
Offense stalls for Brooklyn
With Irving and Durant, Brooklyn has offense. But could the Net’s rating be sufficient in opposition to the league’s No. 1 protection? They can’t score sufficiently. After scoring 114 factors in Game 1, the Nets had sixty-five inside the first 1/2 of Game 2. Brooklyn shot 24-for-40 (60%) from the field in the first 1/2, which includes 50% on 3s.
But once that warm taking pictures extinguished, Brooklyn’s offense faltered. Players’ movement and ball movement changed into strong inside the first half. Not so properly in the 2nd 1/2 as Irving disappeared.
The Nets shot 30.Five% in the second half of, went scoreless for a 5-minute stretch early inside the fourth sector and had simply six points inside the first 8 minutes of the fourth.
Part of that is Boston’s protection. Part of that if Brooklyn’s stagnant offense. It’s tough to win whilst your two stars (Durant and Irving) pass a blended 1-for-17 in the 2d 1/2.
Will Ben Simmons make his season debut?
Guard Ben Simmons, who the Nets obtained from Philadelphia at the exchange closing date, is running himself returned into basketball circumstance and getting over a horrific lower back.
How close is he to gambling? Nets coach Steve Nash stated he labored out Wednesday morning, and ESPN said Simmons is focused on Game 4 for a capacity debut.
Nash did no longer verify that.
“I don’t think we’re targeting any recreation,” he stated. “We’re seeking to see how he develops, how he progresses. That’s something with the recent history because the change, it’s no longer been sincere. While it’s exciting to see him on the floor and spot him make progress, I don’t think any folks are pronouncing, ‘It’s drawing close.’ We’re going to sit down again and aid him and see how ways he gets and if he’s capable of play, that’d be remarkable. We haven’t penciled in whatever or made any conclusions.”