June 25, 2021

Jason Tottenham 50-point night focuses on the arrival of Kyrie Irving as Boston elevates Celtics in Game 3

BOSTON – Each of the 4,789 fans who entered DD Garden on Friday night were ready to bloom Kyrie Irving As long as their voices are hoarse. But after the Boston Celtics had a spectacular 125-119 win over Brooklyn Nets in Game 3 of their first round playoff series, the same fans were doing something very different when they left: chanting Jason ToddName.

Tatum scored 50 points for the second straight game in this building, going with six rebounds and seven assists in 41 minutes. That was enough to deal with his old teammate Irving and the former MVPs of Brooklyn. Kevin Torrent And James Horton, To pull the Celtics back into this series.

“It was one of those nights,” Todd said. “Trying to defend the home court is like trying to win at all costs.

“Sometimes, nights like this are needed.”

Since Tatum has scored at least 50 points four times in the two months he has never done so in his four – year NBA career, he can say “one of those nights” with a straight face, believe it.

But it can be said that some players can go from foot to toe with Horton and Durant and come up. Tottenham scored 50 points to give Boston a seven-point lead over 41.8 seconds over Torrent, but the Celtics promised to pull themselves back in the series.

“Make a play,” Todd said, scoring a total of 31 points in the first two games on Friday night – the Celtics defeats – and dropping out of Game 2 after Durant accidentally stabbed him in the third quarter. “Obviously, I know I’m going, but I’m trying to see where the help is. Someone is coming. Find an open man. In those situations, play the right game.”

Although the focus after the game was on Tottenham’s performance, it was on Irving before the game that he first appeared in Boston with fans in this building since he left the Celtics for free two years ago. He made his first appearance in court more than eight minutes before the end of Friday night to go to the brigade clock, and immediately received a loud voice from a few thousand fans who attended DD Garden as part of a 25% efficiency. , One that will be elevated ahead of Sunday Game 4.

“Yes, we expect a big crowd on Sunday,” Irving said. “This is a great start to seeing what this environment is like and looking forward to the challenge.”

Although those flowers died quickly, Irving shouted again during the player’s introductions, calling his name lasting before Torrent and after Horton.

The same thing happened whenever he touched the ball during the game, followed by every missed shot by Irving with fierce cheers.

“I mean, this is basketball,” Irving said. “I’ve been in a few situations in my life. So like I said, as long as it’s the nature of basketball, it’s nothing extra. I’m cool with it. I’m going to get some products with the team. Get ready for Sunday tomorrow, but I want to keep it straight to basketball.”

Irving had a fantastic season for Brooklyn, becoming one of seven players to shoot 50% off the field, 40% off the 3-point line and 90% off the wrong line for the entire season. But he missed a lot in Game 3, finishing with 16 points in a 6-to-17 shoot. After going 2-1 on the field and getting two points in the first half – pull-up jumper on Rookie in mid-second Baden Pritchard – Irving slowly outscored himself in the second half, with his 3-pointer 7:35 to take fourth-place Boston lead 105-97.

But since no one named Totem or Horton did anything next to Brooklyn, he found himself on the wrong side of several matches defensively against Tatum. Those two combined for 80 points; Add to that Irving’s 16 points and the rest of the Nets combined to score 23 points in 25 of 8 shots.

“It’s huge,” the Celtics guard said Marcus Smart Brooklyn said about controlling the supporting cast. “Those guys hurt us especially in Game 2. Oops [Harris] Hitting 7 3s in Game 2, they fed it. So, we could come down and keep them in order, and they would not let us hurt, they would leave too, it was great for us. In Game 2 our guys have to come and do what those guys did to us, it contributes, we need both ends of the ground, we have to keep going. “

The Boston crowd also had a chance to find out how Irving felt about him during a couple of second-half stops. After he fails to move Smart to third place with a 3-pointer at 5:11, during a review, whether that fraud is considered a blatant one (it is not), the crowd “F–” – you, Kyrie. “

Then, smart and when Blake Griffin Bumped in the middle through the fourth and needed a moment to collect himself smart, the crowd shouted, “Kyri sucks!” Across the parking lot.

Eventually, this game came into play.

Although Horton (41 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists) and Torrent (39 points and nine rebounds) were generally terrifying, Totten matched playing with two former league MVPs, and shot throughout the game, even when Boston returned to the series as fellow All-Star Jaylan Brown He was sidelined after wrist surgery that ended the season earlier this month.

“We know what he’s capable of,” said Nets coach Steve Nash. “We did a good job at home, but it’s a job that will cause a lot of setbacks and will continue to be difficult for him to defend and as a team. We need to put different people on him and support them. “

Tattoo also had some help. Tristan Thompson He had his best game as a Celtic player, finishing with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Smart went for 23 points and six assists, making 8-for-11 from the field, 5-for-8 from the 3-point range and several key defensive plays. And Evan Fournier Finished with 17 points and five restarts.

The Celtics matched the Nets in the 3s, shooting 39-for-16 compared to 38 for Brooklyn.

“They built us in 3s,” Durant said. “They hit 16 3s in this building … so they get it from the 3-point line, which is going to keep any team in the game and we had to do a great job of competing.

“They shoot 50% off the field. We can not allow that. Forty – one [percent] From 3? We cannot allow that. And borderline? Should be fine. “

Brooklyn will have the opportunity to be better on Sunday night, as well as regain control of the series. But one night, at least, Boston was better, thanks to Tatum surpassing the constellation of Brooklyn stars.

“He’s been very advanced for 23 years,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “I said the word ‘special’. I didn’t say it often, frankly. He has a unique ability to hit the ball, slide through seams and find angles, but he has got the vision to make every perfect reading.

“He’s super tonight.”