Even if the Boston Celtics were fully healthy Sunday evening against the Brooklyn Nets, they would not have stood a chance.
Boasting three of the top players of this generation, the Nets were clicking on all cylinders in Kyrie Irving’s return to Boston. After a somewhat competitive first quarter, Brooklyn put on a clinic to pretty much end the game heading into the fourth. It outscored Boston by a margin of 79-57 in the second and third quarters at TD Garden.
Once Irving nailed consecutive three-pointers to open the fourth quarter, it was all but over. The Brooklyn Nets big three of Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden had it going big time — nearly outscoring the Celtics through three quarters.
- Kyrie Irving: 11-of-24 shooting, 39 points, 11 rebounds, two assists
- Kevin Durant: 14-of-20 shooting, 42 points, four rebounds, five assists
- James Harden: 8-of-12 shooting, 22 points, five rebounds, 18 assists
If these three future first ballot Hall of Famers continue to play at this level, there’s not another team remaining in the NBA Playoffs that can even compete with the Brooklyn Nets. What we saw from the trio against a hapless and injury-plagued Boston Celtics team Sunday evening was nothing short of art. The final score of 141-126 wasn’t even indicative of how lopsided this one was.
It also didn’t help Boston that starters Robert Williams and Kemba Walker joined the injured Jaylen Brown on the bench for this one. Now down 3-1 in the series, Boston is likely looking at a premature exit from the playoffs and renewed questions heading into the summer.