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The Nets Took Down The Celtics In Game 5 To Advance In The 2021 Playoffs

The Brooklyn Nets have punched their ticket to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Brooklyn completed its first-round throttling of the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night with a 123-109 Game 5 win in front of the hometown fans at the Barclays Center. The series ended with a gentleman’s sweep, as the Nets came out on top, 4-1.

Unsurprisingly, the Nets followed their usual blueprint to winning by letting their three All-NBA players go to work. A James Harden triple-double (34 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds, two steals, two blocks) led the way, while Kyrie Irving (25 points) and Kevin Durant (24 points) were given space to cook as well. The trio combined to score 83 points on the evening, and while their only other teammates to hit double-digits scored 10 points each (Bruce Brown, Blake Griffin), all three dudes were so good that Brooklyn didn’t exactly need anyone else to go off.

As a team, the Nets were ruthlessly efficient on offense, going 43-for-84 (51.2 percent) from the field, 15-for-32 (46.9 percent) from three, and 22-for-25 (88.2 percent) from the free throw line. They barely turned the ball over (eight times), got out and ran (17 fastbreak points), and generally looked like a team that is coalescing at exactly the right time.

Boston’s reliance on Jayson Tatum was not enough, although the young forward continued his impressive play during the postseason. Tatum scored 32 points, pulled in nine rebounds, doled out five assists, and blocked a pair of shots in 41 minutes of work, doing everything he could to extend the series to a Game 6 to no avail.

Evan Fournier gave the team 18 points and youngster Romeo Langford had some really nice moments on both ends of the floor en route to 17 points with two blocks and two steals, but the Celtics could not consistently hit from three (11-for-40, or 27.5 percent, from behind the arc) and was unable to keep up with the high-powered Nets offense. While no team wants its season to end, particularly one that has such high expectations as Boston, the Celtics have been through a long slog of a year that they will assuredly welcome an offseason to get healthy and decompress.

And for Brooklyn, the win sets up one of the most highly-anticipated series of the 2021 postseason. The Nets will take on the Milwaukee Bucks in what should be an absolute war between two of the best teams in the league. Milwaukee will enter the series after sweeping the Miami Heat in the first round, and during the regular season, the Bucks came out on top in two of three games, although it must be mentioned that Harden did not play in either of the Nets’ losses.

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