Nets Rout Celtics 130-108 in Game 2 as Durant, Harden, Irving Combine for 61 PointsMay 26, 2021
The Brooklyn Nets are cruising.
They took a commanding 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series against the Boston Celtics with a 130-108 victory on Tuesday evening.
The Nets raced out to a 40-26 first-quarter advantage and never looked back, with Joe Harris obliterating the Celtics in the first half to the tune of 22 points (which alone was a postseason career high for him) and 6-of-8 shooting from three.
It's one thing for the Celtics to lose after a big performance from Kevin Durant, James Harden or Kyrie Irving. It's another thing entirely to let role players like Harris go off.
Heck, even Blake Griffin turned back the clock with some monster dunks:
And while all of that was going on, Durant turned into Dikembe Mutombo:
The Nets were always favored to win this series given their significant talent advantage, especially with Jaylen Brown out for the season. But after Tuesday, it's starting to look like a sweep is on the horizon.
Joe Harris, BKN: 25 points, 7-of-10 shooting from three
Kevin Durant, BKN: 26 points, eight rebounds, five assists, four blocks
James Harden, BKN: 20 points, seven assists
Jayson Tatum, BOS: Nine points, two blocks, two steals, 3-of-12 from the field
Kemba Walker, BOS: 17 points, seven assists
Marcus Smart, BOS: 19 points, six assis
Have Yourself a Game, Joe Harris
Harris just obliterated the Celtics from the perimeter. His first half was absurd.
You aren't going to beat the Nets if their role players are performing like stars, as demonstrated by the Celtics getting absolutely worked in this one.
But Harris and this Nets offense also present teams with a huge dilemma—sell out to stop one guy, and someone else capable of punishing you is open. On Tuesday, it was Harris who feasted on those looks.
In Game 3, it will probably be someone else on the Nets. Good luck with that, Boston.
Jayson Tatum's Struggles Continue
In Game 1, Tatum scored 22 points but did so at an inefficient clip, finishing 6-of-20 from the field.
He was worse in Game 2, and to compound his tough night, he didn't return after Durant inadvertently poked him in the eye in the third quarter.
Jordan Schultz @Schultz_Report
Super impressed w/#Nets. Came into both Games 1+2 completely locked in. Offensively, we know they’re elite, but defensively - this is what Steve Nash has been asking for: Blowing up actions before they get started, active hands, throwing diff looks at Tatum and constantly digging
Not that it affected the outcome much—the game was well out of hand by that point—but the status of Tatum's eye going forward will obviously be a major storyline for the Celtics.
Whatever slim, fleeting hope they have of getting back in this series will hinge entirely on Tatum playing like a superstar. He hasn't looked anything like that type of player thus far vs. the Nets.
The series moves to Boston for Game 3 on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC).