And by the time Irving and the rest of Brooklyn’s Big 3 were done, they drove to a huge 141-126 Game 4 router to stun a sold out crowd of 17,226 at TD Garden.
With 104 points by Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden it was the highest-scoring playoff result in Nets history, giving them a commanding 3-1 lead in the first round, with the chance to beat the Celtics in Game 5 on Tuesday close to Barclays Center. It’s hard to believe that if they play near that fountain again, that’s exactly what they’re not doing.
This crowd – which has been Irving’s crowd for two years – showered him with swear words and abuse in the third game on Friday, and he’d done a pretty quiet performance on a Nets loss. But two days later, when he came out attacking and never let up, there was nothing quiet about his race to catch up.
“I think it’s just the basics,” Steve Nash had said before the game. “Discipline and details. Just make sure we double up in those areas before we can even do what we’re trying to schematically try on both ends of the floor.
“You felt a little too comfortable in the last game. We got off to a good start and maybe just stepped on the gas and the series worked out in their favor. [This] is going to be a great test for us, and it’s great for us, and it’s great for us to face some adversity and, under duress, double our bases and details. “
Irving had 39 points, Kevin Durant scored 42 points and James Harden was in command with 23 points and 18 assists.
Although Durant and Harden scored 80 points on Friday, Irving only had 16 – and for Half time only two and the nets dug into a hole. But Irving showed more aggression in the first quarter on Sunday than during the entire loss, attacked the defense and was rewarded for his initiative.
Irving found himself in full uncle Drew mode with a range of crossovers, side steps, and even dunks. What was more impressive than its gloss was its strength, the attack play that got him a playoff career high of 11v11 from the free throw line, and the physical game in which the smallest net fight for 11 rebounds took place.
Irving’s tenacity – and the energy of Nic Claxton, who had a career high of four blocks in just five minutes during a crucial 23:10 run – set the tone n.
“I think that goes for any team in basketball. When you have that – you can match or exceed that physicality – you are going to gain an advantage in some way, ”said Nash. “Well, that’s really important.
” You could probably name five or six little mini-fights in a game where one team can get the upper hand. That is certainly one of them. We’re definitely a much better team, when we’re aggressive and physical. I think it’s important that we do that. “
After the nets dropped 24:15 in Jayson Tatum’s three-point game (40 points), they got bored immediately and spun it Play around. They went on a 23-10 run that spanned the first and second quarters, and took a 38-34 lead on a Harden step-back 3. Claxon had four blocks in that time after being in play 3 was played by Tristan Thompson.
“I think every playoff game is a must-have competition, just the intensity you need for every game, especially on the street,” said Claxton.
The Nets beat the Celtics 40-26 that second quarter and went into the locker room at 73-60.
It was tied for the highest-rated half of postseason basketball in team history (with a 73-point first half of a first-round game 3 against the bucks in 1986). And it was her biggest half-time advantage in a street playoff game since posting a 64-46 pillow over the heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on May 8, 2006.
As Harden Landry Shamet for a 3rd place – Pointer found 1:20 in the third, they had padded their pillow to 110-83.
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