Durant, Harris Lead Nets in Dominant Game 2 Victory

A+

Final: 05/25/2021

W 130 108

Game 2 was one of those “pinch me” moments for Nets fans. 

Brooklyn put up an all-around dominant showing in a 130-108 victory over the Celtics on Tuesday in a contest the Nets led by as many as 33 points. Kevin Durant’s 26 points led six Nets in double figures as Brooklyn takes a 2-0 series lead.

The Nets came out shots ablazin’ in a game that was largely a done deal from the jump. Brooklyn flipped the switch from its tough Game 1 start by dropping 40 points in the first quarter. 

The Nets had Joe Harris to thank for the quick start as he dropped 16 points in the first quarter and 25 on the night. He was on fire — and that’s putting it lightly — with a blistering 7-of-10 performance from three-point range as the Nets were 17-of-38 from deep overall on the night.

Brooklyn used a dominant offense to grow its lead through the first three quarters. The Nets shot 52.3% on the night and recorded 31 assists on 46 field goals as the starters were able to rest through the majority of the fourth quarter.

While the offense thrived, what helped the Nets put the Celtics away so dominantly was its active defense. Brooklyn capitalized on Boston’s mistakes with 26 points scored off 15 turnovers while also holding the Celtics to 42.4% shooting from the field and 12-of-34 from three.

The Nets gave the crowd of nearly 15,000 much to cheer about, from Harris’s three-point barrage to Blake Griffin’s rim-rocking dunks. All in all, it is difficult to have dreamt of a better performance from Brooklyn — outside Jeff Green leaving the game early with a bruised left foot.

The Celtics were led by Marcus Smarts’s 19 points as he got hot from deep in the second half. Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum was held to nine points on 3-of-12 shooting and left the game in the third quarter after being inadvertently poked in the eye by Durant.

The Nets embodied the Scary Hours that Nets fans have been patiently waiting for after each of the Big Three took turns sitting out in the regular season. Game 2 was an example of just how lethal the Nets can be when all the pieces fall together.

Next up: The Nets travel to Boston for Game 3 on Friday night with the chance to go up 3-0 in the series. Kyrie Irving will also play for the first time in front of fans at TD Garden since his departure. 

Kevin Durant

A

The stats: 26 PTS, 8-12 FG, 2-2 3PT, 8-8 FT, 8 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 4 BLK, 4 TO, 29 MIN

We’d say that KD’s Game 2 performance officially qualifies him as being “back” after his hamstring injury.

KD paced himself through the first half and truly broke out with a 14-point third quarter. His agility was on display while getting to the bucket, and especially with racking up four blocks on the night.

KD had another awkward fall but (thankfully) came up just fine, though with a large scrape on his shoulder. He did turn the ball over a bit, but he gave his all on both ends of the court as the Nets kept their foot on the gas throughout the game.

Joe Harris

A+

The stats: 25 PTS, 9-14 FG, 7-10 3PT, 4 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 29 MIN

Joe Harris playoff mode: activated!

Joe started the game 4-of-4 from deep in the first quarter as part of a personal 11-0 run that helped the Nets grow a 16-point lead. Joe made the Celtics pay with every look after largely being held back in Game 1.

Joey Buckets had a playoff career-high in the first half alone with 22 points before handing the offensive baton to KD in the third quarter. Add in his two steals and a block, and Joe may have just had the most dominant — and impactful — performance of his career so far. 

James Harden

A

The stats: 20 PTS, 6-12 FG, 4-8 3PT, 4-4 FT, 5 REB, 7 AST, 1 STL, 2 TO, 27 MIN

James Harden finished as a game-high +31 for a reason.

Harden found his spots offensively after putting up zero points in the first quarter and instead allowed the hot hand in Joe to get the shine. James ended up scoring 10 points in the second quarter and another 10 before checking out early in the fourth quarter. 

Harden was the heartbeat of Brooklyn’s efficient offense while he was reliable to drain his shots from deep. Scary Hours for Brooklyn does not always need big numbers from each player, but Harden came up as the game progressed and Brooklyn extended its lead. 

Kyrie Irving

A-

The stats: 15 PTS, 6-12 FG, 1-3 3PT, 2-2 FT, 6 REB, 6 AST, 1 BLK, 3 TO, 28 MIN

Would the game have been complete without a jaw-dropping Kyrie highlight?

Kyrie cooled down a bit offensively after an eight-point first quarter, but he found his groove again in the third quarter as the Nets grew the lead to silly levels. Kyrie remained aggressive and kept the offense flowing during the impressive night.

Kyrie is capable of scoring more, but that was not needed as Joe and others stepped up offensively. That is part of what makes the Nets so strong — that anyone can step up into that role on any given night.

Blake Griffin

B+

The stats: 11 PTS, 4-6 FG, 0-1 3PT, 3-4 FT, 3 REB, 4 AST, 20 MIN

Blake was much improved from his Game 1 performance — and brought the house down, twice.

Blake rocked Barclays with two big left-handed dunks nearly back-to-back to put an exclamation point on the victory. Blake has struggled with finding opportunities above the rim this series, but the opportunities finally came, and he did not waste them.

The Nets overall could have had a stronger performance on the boards as they were out-rebounded 52-49, but Blake showed he can be a good fit in the starting lineup against Tristan Thompson. Brooklyn will be tasked with finding the right formula on the interior as the playoffs progress with more opposing talent inside. 

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