Nets dominate Celtics for 2-0 NBA playoff series lead
Los Angeles—The Brooklyn Nets ran roughshod over the Boston Celtics Tuesday, (Wednesday morning, May 26, 2021, Philippine time), leading by as many as 33 points in a 130-108 victory that put them 2-0 up in their NBA playoffs first-round series.
Kevin Durant headed another strong showing for Brooklyn’s “big three” along with fellow stars Kyrie Irving and James Harden, and Joe Harris excelled from three-point range to power the Nets to an early lead they had no trouble maintaining.
Brooklyn seized control in a first quarter in which they out-scored the Celtics 40-26.
They led 71-47 at halftime with Harris providing plenty of fireworks.
The forward connected on six of eight shots from three-point range in the first half, when his 22 points were already a career playoff high.
He added one more three-pointer in the second half to tie the franchise playoff record.
“Tonight Joe got us going, we got stops, got out in transition, which opened up our offense,” Durant said. “It was just a good start for us and we kind of cruised from there.”
Durant led the Nets with 26 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots.
Harris finished with 25 points, Harden added 20 and Irving 15.
Center Blake Griffin’s 11 points included two vintage dunks.
The listless Celtics, meanwhile, were never a factor.
Marcus Smart recovered from a slow start — with zero points in the first quarter — to lead the Celtics in scoring with 19 points.
Kemba Walker had 17 but star forward Jayson Tatum had just nine before departing early after taking a poke in the right eye.
The Celtics will try to get into the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series when they host game three on Friday.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, the reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers, led by superstar LeBron James, tried to bounce back in Phoenix, where they were burned by the Suns in game one of their Western Conference series.
The Los Angeles Clippers were also seeking a bounce-back victory when they hosted the Dallas Mavericks.
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