DimeMag

Caris LeVert Erupted For 51 Points In An Overtime Win Over The Celtics

After three quarters on Tuesday evening, the Brooklyn Nets appeared to be in severe trouble against the Boston Celtics. Already operating in a challenging environment on the road, the Nets trailed 84-67 as the fourth quarter arrived and, in short, Brooklyn would be considered a long-shot to close the gap under any circumstances. On this particular night, however, Caris LeVert had other ideas, putting the Nets on his back with the best night of his career in what became a 129-120 overtime victory.

LeVert enjoyed a solid first half, scoring 14 points on 11 shooting possessions, but the former Michigan standout went scoreless in the third quarter as the Nets saw their deficit balloon to the aforementioned 17-point margin. In the fourth quarter, LeVert broke into superhero mode, connecting on a barrage of jumpers and free throws to bring Brooklyn back into the game.

That continued with 90 seconds to go, as LeVert connected on a triple to slash the deficit to two.

Finally, LeVert made the biggest play of the game to that point, drawing a foul with 0.2 seconds to go and knocking down all three free throws to send the game to the extra period.

Even before the overtime began, LeVert had already cemented heroic status in this particular game, scoring 26 (!) points in the fourth quarter. He converted seven of his 10 shots from the field while going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc and 8-for-11 on free throws in the period, almost singlehandedly saving the day for Brooklyn.

Still, there was more work to do, and LeVert kept the mojo working in the overtime period, cooking to the tune of 11 points.

In fact, LeVert was the only member of the Nets that scored in the extra frame and, with the Celtics generating only two points, Brooklyn emerged with a victory that felt more comfortable than it should have. All told, LeVert finished with a career-best 51 points on 17-for-26 shooting with 5-for-10 from three-point range and 12-for-18 from the free throw line. Mesmerizingly, the 25-year-old scored 37 of those points in the final 17 minutes, pulling off a feat that was borderline impossible.

The Nets didn’t “need” this win to maintain favorite status for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference and, in truth, the Nets entered this contest as the underdog in Boston. Still, LeVert pushed his team to an unexpected win and, along the way, he enjoyed a memorable night and an utterly dominant stretch of basketball in a hostile environment.

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