New York, May 22 (EFE) .- Although the class of the “Big Three” was made to wait, their prominence allowed the Brooklyn Nets to beat the Boston Celtics 104-93 this Saturday in the first game of the first series Eastern Conference playoff round.
Although they did not have the brightest start, on the contrary they gave a poor image, little by little they found the rhythm of the game and forward Kevin Durant finished with a double-double of 32 points and 12 rebounds that left him in front of the winning attack of the Nets.
Point guard Kyrie Irving was in charge of scoring another 29 points and guard James Harden flirted with a triple-double after scoring 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, in what was only the ninth appearance of the three together with the Nets. .
All three combined to go 0-11 on shooting from outside the perimeter in the first half, but returned to the Barclays Center court to start the third period on an 18-4 streak that gave the Nets the lead in the scoreboard and they never lost it again.
Durant, Irving and Harden scored 28 of the Nets’ 31 points in the third period, and forward Joe Harris, who made Brooklyn’s only 3-pointer in the first half, scored another for the other points from the Brooklyn team. which finished the league with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets’ star forward surpassed former San Antonio Spurs baseman Tony Parker (4,045) points for ninth on the list of best scorers in the playoffs by reaching 4,075 points.
Harris scored 10 points for the Nets, who announced an official attendance of 14,391 fans, which they also hope to have for Game 2 of the series to be played next Tuesday.
Power forward Jayson Tatum scored 22 points but made just 6 of 20 shots from the field and failed to reach his 50-point effort in the entry tournament as Boston beat the Washington Wizards to earn seventh place in the infield. of the playoffs.
Center Robert Williams III, who had been a doubt until before the game, had 11 points, nine rebounds and nine blocks as the best in the inside game of the Celtics, who missed the loss of All-Star guard Jaylen Brown.
The guard Marcus Smart scored 17 points, but the starting point guard Kemba Walker, in his line of failing in the decisive games, reached 15 points, but with just five baskets in 16 shots from the field.
In the end, the defeat was not greater because the stars of the Nets confirmed that they had spent little time together on the field and Brooklyn also started with Harris and power forward Blake Griffin, in what was the first lineup that the five players were together. at the start of the game.
Brooklyn’s starting lineup was the thirty-ninth different of the season, having set a franchise record during the regular season.
The lack of understanding between everyone was evident, especially for the “Big 3” after seeing how Durant, Harden and Irving started with a combination of 5 baskets of 20 shots from the field in the first quarter and the Nets missed all nine 3-point attempts. in the period. Boston opened a 20-32 lead early in the second.
Harris finally hit a 3-pointer with 2:18 left and Boston put up a 47-53 lead by going into halftime.
Things changed quickly after halftime. Harden made a triple after four straight Durant points and after two other Celtics baskets, Irving, Durant and Harden responded with a triple each that opened the 18-4 streak and the decisive 65-57 run.
Irving and Durant combined for the final streak in the fourth quarter, which this time was 12-2 that extended a three-point lead to 94-81 with a final basket from the Nets’ star point guard.
The controversial point guard for the Brooklyn team, who spent two seasons with the Celtics, wore green sneakers.
The Nets have won eight straight playoff games against the Celtics and are 9-2, with a six-game win in the 2002 Eastern Conference finals and a sweep in the 2003 Eastern semifinals.
It’s the Nets ‘highest winning percentage and the Celtics’ lowest against an opponent in the postseason.
Coaches Brad Stevens of the Celtics, Canadian rookie Steve Nash of the Nets, led teams without masks, now allowed to be fully vaccinated.
Stevens said it helped that players were able to see his mouth again, because with the larger crowds now in the arenas, it would be more difficult to hear his instructions.
(c) EFE Agency