After the Celtics notched their first win over the Nets all season on Friday night, Brooklyn absolutely pummeled the C on Sunday in front of a packed TD Garden crowd. The Celtics did possess a one-point lead heading into the second quarter, but the Nets made their first nine shots to tear off a 16-6 run and take a nine-point lead. By halftime, Brooklyn's lead was around 13, and it transports to 27 close to the end of the next quarter. The Nets won 141-126 to drive Boston's time to the brink.
Brooklyn's three-headed monster was just too much for the Celtics to manage on Sunday, with Durant scoring 42 points and Irving 39, whilst Harden poured in 23 points and dished out 18 assists. That celebrity trio took a ridiculous 60 percent from the floor -- including 27 of 28 free throws -- about the day.
To Boston's charge, the group did not back down at any given stage. Even as Brooklyn was hitting shot after shot, the Celtics stayed aggressive and continued to struggle back. That type of gusto was absent for a lot of the regular period, and the Celtics are expecting that it inspires some better play during Game 5 on Tuesday night.
"It was a difficult loss. We came out and we fought. They came out and they struggled. "We are playing with a great team. They have three excellent players and a fantastic surrounding cast around them. It is hard, but we must continue to fight. I am proud at how we fought. We did not win, but we've got another game and another chance to fight even harder."
"They are a excellent team and we knew coming into this series; it wasn't going to be simple," said Boston forward Jayson Tatum, who followed his 50-point game on Friday night with a 40-point revealing Sunday. "From game to game it's about making adjustments and that is what we're going to do. Watch film, make the required adjustments going into Game 5 and get ready for the next one."
The Celtics now face a win-or-go-home scenario in Game 5, and the nearly insurmountable task of devoting a 3-1 series deficit. In NBA playoff history, 260 series have gone to 3-1, also at those series, just 13 teams have come back when falling that gap -- just five percent.
This type of comeback is extremely rare, although the Denver Nuggets did it twice in the Orlando bubble last year, coming back from 3-1 deficits against both the Utah Jazz and L.A. Clippers. As a franchise, the Celtics have come back from a 3-1 deficit double; in 1968 and in 1981 -- both days against the Philadelphia 76ers.
For now, the Celtics aren't thinking about making a dramatic series recovery. Their focus is put on Tuesday night in Brooklyn.
"The message to the rest of the men is do not be worried about winning three in a row, just worry about winning another one," Tatum said Sunday night. "It's 1 game at a time. Just prepare for the next one."