Game 4 Recap: Celtics vs. Nets


Revenge is sweet, especially with a sweep. The Boston Celtics have knocked the Brooklyn Nets out of the playoffs in a 4-0 series, winning Game 4 116-112. They will advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks. This was the first time in four years that the Celtics have swept a team in the first round. Even though the Nets had a strong offensive core in Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Bruce Brown, that wasn’t enough to overcome the Celtics defense.

Last year, the Celtics lost to the Nets in the first round, so they got their revenge. The big three for the Celtics are Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown. All of these players are dominant on offense and create spots on defense. They combined for a total of 71 points. Marcus Smart was also named the defensive player of the year (DPOY) for his dominating presence on the court.

The game started off with a floater from Jaylen Brown but was answered by a pull-up jump shot from Kevin Durant. Both teams were exchanging shots until the Celtics went on a 10-0 run to go up 22-12. The Celtics used this lead to their advantage and ended the first quarter up 30-26, but the Nets weren’t ready to back down.

Goran Dragic started the second quarter off with an 8-foot shot to bring the Nets to a two score deficit. Seth Curry then makes a long jump shot to tie the game at 30-30. This tie doesn’t last for long because Jayson Tatum makes a three to bring the Celtics up 33-30. Then, towards the end of the quarter, both teams were battling to come out on top; however, the Celtics held onto the lead of 58-50.

The Nets are just 8 points behind the Celtics, which is not a big gap, but they struggled to stop Tatum. The beginning of the third quarter was not going well for the Nets. The Celtics lead was increasing incrementally. Tatum was going off, scoring 11 points in the quarter, which brought the Celtics up to a score of 69. The rest of the team scored 21 points to make the final score for the Celtics 90. The Nets only scored a total of 28 points to make their score 78. The lead has now increased by 12 points, which isn’t that bad for the Nets, but the energy in the building was shifting.

The fourth quarter was a turning point for the Nets. The lead was slowly getting cut, and the energy in the building was electric. Dragic hit a three to cut the Celtics lead to three (102-99). However, they weren’t about to give up their lead so quickly. The Nets continued to chip away, only being down 3-6 points. Durant and Irving were the only players scoring for the Nets at the end of the quarter, but that wasn’t enough to overcome the Celtics lead. The end of the game resulted in a Celtics win with a final score of 116-112.

Five points was all the Nets needed to win, but the Celtics dominating defense overpowered that. After the game, Jayson Tatum told reporters that he “couldn’t believe it at all, but I think that’s what we’re built for,” when asked how he felt after the win.

Besides being knocked out of the playoffs, the Nets were also facing some drama off the court. Steve Nash, the head coach of the Nets, was getting hate for the playoff performance of his team. Bruce Brown for example, only scored two points after the previous 26 and 23 point games. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant scored a combined 59 points, which wasn’t enough to bring in the win.

Another player on the Nets–Ben Simmons–was also reported to play in Game 4 but decided not too. Simmons was traded to the Nets towards the end of the season but has been battling with his mind and wanting to play. He received a lot of hate for not playing on his former team, the 76ers, because he wanted to be traded.

Nash was asked a question regarding Simmons not playing, to which he responded, “I think Ben has addressed that there is a mental component with what he’s going through, but how much and where he’s at with that is not for me to speak about.” If Simmons decided to play, would that help seal a win for the Nets?

Even with this controversy, the Celtics outplayed the Nets and secured their spot in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. How far will the Celtics go?