Game 1 of the first-round series between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets was one of the most exciting playoff games in recent memory. It was a back-and-forth battle that culminated with Celtics All-Star forward Jayson Tatum converting a layup off of a pass from Marcus Smart as time expired to propel Boston to a 115-114 victory and a 1-0 lead in the series. Tatum finished the game with 31 points, while Nets guard and former Celtic Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 39 points.
It will be tough for Game 2 to match Game 1 in terms of excitement, but we can certainly hope that it does. The Nets will obviously come out with the added motivation of wanting to avoid falling into a 2-0 hole, while the Celtics will again look to protect their home court before the series shifts to Brooklyn for Games 3 and 4.
Here's everything you need to know about Game 2 of the best-of-seven series between Boston and Brooklyn.
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(2) Boston Celtics vs. (7) Brooklyn Nets
- When: Wednesday, April 20 | 7 p.m. ET
- Where: TD Garden -- Boston, Massachusetts
- TV: TNT | Live stream: TNT
- Odds: BOS -160; BKN +140; O/U 226 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Celtics: Boston benefitted from a balanced offensive attack in Game 1, and it will want to employ a similar approach in Game 2. Four out of the Celtics' five starters -- Tatum, Brown, Smart and Horford -- scored 20-plus points in the first game, and they did a lot of damage in the paint specifically. Boston outscored Brooklyn 56-32 in paint points, as they are clearly the bigger and more physical team. Look for them to lean into that advantage again in Game 2.
Nets: Brooklyn will want to get Kevin Durant going in the second game. He had 23 points while shooting just 9 of 24 from the floor in Game 1, and he also had a game-high six turnovers. He never looked completely comfortable over the course of the contest, and Boston's defense deserves a lot of credit for that, as it was physical with him from the jump. Head coach Steve Nash will want to come out of the gate with some plays to get Durant some good looks early on in Game 2 so that he can potentially find a groove that he couldn't find in the first game.
Another storyline to keep an eye on with the Nets is Kyrie Irving, who was just fined $50,000 by the NBA for flipping off Boston fans during Game 1. Irving has had a contentious relationship with fans in Boston ever since he left the team in the 2019 offseason, and they clearly got into his head in the first game. After the way he behaved in Game 1, fans in Boston are surely going to continue to razz Irving, so we'll have to see if their jeers have an impact on him in Game 2.
The Nets nearly won Game 1 despite Durant having a subpar performance, and three out of their five starters failing to score in double figures. Durant is likely to have a bounce back performance in Game 2, plus the Nets should be motivated not to fall behind by two games. Pick: Nets +3.5