BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics completed their first-round sweep of the Nets on Monday night, hanging on for a 116-112 win in Game 4 in Brooklyn.
It was a lot closer than it had to be, but the Celtics got the job done and will now get some rest before the second round. It’s some sweet payback for the Celtics, after the Nets sent them home in five games in last year’s first-round of the NBA Playoffs.READ MORE: Vince Wilfork voted into Patriots Hall Of Fame
Boston will now play the winner of the Bucks-Bulls series, with Milwaukee leading that series 3-1 heading into Wednesday night’s Game 5.
Jayson Tatum finished with 29 points, five assists and three rebounds despite fouling out with 2:25 to go in the game. Jaylen Brown was big with 22 points while Marcus Smart added 20, including 10 in the fourth quarter. Grant Williams was huge off the bench with 14 points and some stingy defense against Kevin Durant.
Durant finished with 39 points for Brooklyn, but was still off from the floor, hitting just 13 of his 31 attempts. Kyrie Irving had 20 points off 6-for-13 shooting.
For the series, Durant was just 32-for-83 against the Boston defense. He was a non-factor for much of the series.
Both teams struggled to get going early as the refs made full use of their whistles. Boston rattled off a 10-0 run midway through the quarter, with Derrick White doing half of the team’s damage over that span, but the Celtics led by just four, 30-26, after the first quarter.
The Celtics got a little separation in the second quarter as Tatum scored eight in the frame and Grant Williams hit some threes to go with his superb defense against Durant. Boston led by eight, 58-50, heading into the break.READ MORE: Patrice Bergeron named finalist for Selke Award for 11th straight season
Tatum scored a dozen of his points in the third and Boston led by 12 heading into the fourth quarter. But the Nets rattled off a 6-0 run to start the final frame as Tatum got a breather, and a Durant hoop made it a 90-84 with just over 10 minutes left.
Tatum answered by turning a Durant missed layup, and failed Griffin put-back attempt, into a strong flush. He canned a three on Boston’s next possession to push the Boston lead to 95-86.
But he was whistled for his fifth foul with 8:17 remaining in the game when Griffin drew a charge, and Tatum had to take a team on the bench again. The Nets got closer as Tatum sat, with Goran Dragic banking in a three to make it a 102-99 game with 5:24 left.
But Brown stopped the bleeding for Boston with a nice pullup while being fouled by Irving, and his free throw put the Celtics on top 105-99. Smart tipped in a Williams miss on Boston’s next possession to get the lead back to eight with 4:35 to go.
Another Smart layup put Boston up 109-103, but Tatum fouled out with 2:48 to go on an extremely questionable sixth foul when he and Dragic got tangled up on an inbound. Kyrie Irving nailed a deep three with 2:25 left to bring Brooklyn within three, 109-106.
A Durant floater made it a one-point game with 1:28 on the clock, but Jaylen Brown made a nice baseline runner to give Boston a 111-108 lead. After Durant went 1-for-2 at the line, Al Horford put back off a Smart miss on the other end to put the Celtics on top 113-109 with 13.7 seconds left.
Durant missed a three with 10.3 seconds left and the Celtics corralled the loose ball, with Smart hitting both of his freebies. He hit two more with 2.7 seconds left to seal the victory — and series — for the Celtics.MORE NEWS: A Tom Brady Roast is coming to Netflix
This is the third first-round sweep by the Celtics in the last four postseasons. It’s the first time that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have been swept in their careers.