NBA playoffs

Celtics clamp Nets in 4th quarter, take 2-0 series lead

Celtics clamp Nets in 4th quarter, take 2-0 series lead

BACK-TO-BACK. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum passes around Nets forward Kevin Durant.

Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Celtics storm back from 17 points dow to take a 2-0 series lead over the Nets

Jaylen Brown scored 10 fourth-quarter points, the Boston Celtics erased a 17-point deficit and rallied for a 114-107 victory over the visiting Brooklyn Nets to take a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series Wednesday night, April 20 (Thursday, April 21, Manila time).

Brown made 9-of-18 shots and drove a defensive effort that held Brooklyn to 17 points in the final 12 minutes.

The Celtics trailed by 17 late in the first half and got the deficit down to 90-85 through three quarters before dominating the fourth. 

Boston did not get the lead until Payton Pritchard’s 20-footer made it 94-92 with 7:49 remaining and Brown hit a layup and a 3-pointer to push the lead to 99-94 with 6:04 left.

Jayson Tatum added 19 points, including 7 straight down the stretch for the Celtics, who can open a 3-0 lead Saturday in Brooklyn. Tatum shot 5-of-16 but his three-pointer over Goran Dragic opened a 108-96 lead with 2:07 remaining.

Reserve Grant Williams added 17 points and Al Horford contributed 16 for Boston. Daniel Theis added 15 and Smart contributed 12 as the Celtics shot 52%.

Kevin Durant led the Nets with 27 points but shot 4-of-17 from the floor. He had six turnovers and never found a rhythm under constant double-team pressure in the fourth quarter. Bruce Brown added 23 but former Celtic Kyrie Irving was serenaded with boos at every turn and scored 10 on 4-of-13 shooting.

Dragic contributed 18 and Seth Curry chipped in 16 as the Nets were 5-of-19 in the fourth and shot 46.1% overall.

The Nets held Tatum without a field goal and built a 33-24 lead through the opening quarter. The Nets held a 62-45 lead on Durant’s layup with 1:45 left and the Celtics ended the half with a 10-3 spurt to get within 65-55 entering the third quarter.

The Celtics began the second half on a 19-3 run and trailed 72-70 when Brown stole the ball from Durant and Tatum coasted in for the dunk with 7:38 left. –

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