Caris LeVert puts up career-high in comeback win over Celtics

A+

Final: 03/03/2020

W 129 โ€“ 120

Caris LeVert was the best basketball player in the world — if only for one night.

Scoring 37 points in the fourth quarter and overtime — including all 11 of Brooklyn’s overtime points — to beat the Boston Celtics, 129-120, only tells part of the story.

The night started out in a poor manner as the Nets seemed allergic to the basketball, repeatedly doing their best to get it out of their hands and into those of the Celtics. The turnovers became a theme throughout the night, as the team went on to turn the ball over 20 times.

Even when the Nets did control the ball, they were not converting particularly well. They ended the game shooting under 30 percent from three as a team, and gave Boston extra possessions while failing to put the ball in the basket. The only bright side seemed to be the fact that we had the pleasure of hearing Ian Eagle on the call for TNT.

The Nets’ offense was simply overmatched by the Celtics’ defense. Brooklyn was a train without its engine, and it was obviously apparent to all watching just how desperately they needed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Boston held a 71-50 lead at one point in the third quarter, matching it’s largest lead, and looked to cruise to another easy victory — and the Nets’ fifth straight loss.

The Celtics’ crowd even got their Irving dig in. 

Then Caris LeVert said, “Nah.” (probably)

He led a unit consisting of himself, DeAndre Jordan, Chris Chiozza, Rodions Kurucs and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot back from the brink (yes, that lineup). They scored 51 points in the fourth quarter, the highest-scoring quarter in franchise history. With time dwindling and down by three, LeVert received the ball from the inbounds after Kurucs forced a jump ball. Three Celtics swarmed him as he hoisted up a shot and was fouled.

He sank all three free-throws to send the game to overtime. That gave him 40 points. 

In the extra period, there was never any doubt. LeVert had all the confidence of a man who knew there was no match for him on that court. He took the game into his own hands, outscoring the Celtics 11-2 by himself to ice the game. In doing that, he set a new career-high for himself at 51.

Words cannot accurately describe the greatness that was on full display for the entire league to see. The spotlight was on, and LeVert rose to that challenge — and exceeded it.

A month from now, we could be looking back on LeVert’s display from tonight thinking: “That is where the season was saved.”

Caris LeVert

A+

The stats: 51 PTS, 17-26 FG, 5-10 3PT, 12-18 FT, 4 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 3 TO, 36 MIN

Caris LeVert’s performance was the best of any Net all season long — including Irving’s two 50-point performances.

He posted the ninth 50-point game in franchise history and led a seemingly-impossible comeback against one of the best teams in the league.

This game showed that LeVert has what it takes to be the third star on a championship team. Imagine what this roster will look like when it adds two of the best players in the game?

Next season cannot get here fast enough.

Joe Harris

D+

The stats: 10 PTS, 4-11 FG, 2-5 3PT, 5 REB, 4 TO, 21 MIN

Joe Harris had one of his rare “off” nights.

He did not shoot the ball particularly well and he uncharacteristically led the squad in turnovers with four. He was still one of only four players to hit double-digit points, but that was not enough.

Harris has been the rock of this team, and when he rarely falters, the whole roster hurts.

DeAndre Jordan

A-

The stats: 8 PTS, 3-4 FG, 2-2 FT, 15 REB, 1 AST, 1 BLK, 2 TO, 35 MIN

DeAndre Jordan was the key defensive piece throughout the incredible comeback.

He has seen a resurgence at the best possible part of the season, as the team is vying for hotly contested playoff seeding. His defensive prowess is exactly what the front office was hoping for when he was signed this summer. He knows his job and has excelled at it on a nightly basis.

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