Nets Game 4 takeaways as they get eliminated from NBA playoffs by Celtics

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Nets Kevin Durant goes up for shot against Celtics Game 4
Nets Kevin Durant goes up for shot against Celtics Game 4

The Nets lost 116-112 to the Celtics in Game 4 of their first-round series on Monday night in Brooklyn.

Coach Steve Nash went with his usual starting five of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Seth Curry, Bruce Brown and Andre Drummond.

Here are the takeaways…

- The Nets tried to establish some physicality early on, but it led to some foul trouble. Curry would be called for three fouls who would sit out the rest of the first quarter at the eight-minute mark. With seven minutes remaining, Durant received his second foul and put the Nets into the bonus. The Celtics would go on a 10-0 run thanks to some questionable foul and no-foul calls that had the Brooklyn crowd chanting, “Ref you suck.” Goran Dragic picked up his third foul with a little over a minute left in the game. A 5-0 run by the Nets cut their deficit to 30-26 at the end of the first.

Durant was much more aggressive on the offensive side of the ball, driving to the hoop and looking to take shots. Durant scored 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting. Unfortunately, Irving had just three points on 1-of-7 shooting. But the story of the first quarter was the Nets’ foul trouble. The Nets committed 10 fouls to Boston’s six including Curry (3), Goran Dragic (3), Durant (2), Drummond (1) and Nic Claxton (1). Speaking of Claxton, the young center had a tough time at the free-throw line, going 1-for-11 from the stripe on the evening.

- The Nets came out shooting to start the second to cut Boston’s lead to two, but the Celtics -- led by Jayson Tatum -- went on a run to bring their lead back to eight. Both teams would continue to trade buckets and Durant would pick up his third foul in the closing minutes until a 7-0 run from the Nets put the Celtics lead to just 45-44 with three and a half to go. The Celtics would go a couple of mini runs to go into halftime up 58-50.

Durant continued his offensive pace, going into the half with 20 points. Irving had just seven points while Curry was the second points leader for the Nets with 10. After shooting 56 percent in the first quarter, the Nets dropped to 47 percent but the defense held up for Brooklyn allowing just 48 percent shooting for Boston. Some untimely turnovers, however, made it almost impossible to cut the lead.

- The third quarter was a lot of the same for the Nets. A lot of isolation and minimal ball movement led to stale offense and settling for threes. The Celtics used their size to get easy buckets in the paint and ball movement to make threes and open up a 15-point lead toward the end of the third, the team's highest of the game up to this point. Curry hit a three in the final minute and was fouled by Tatum that could have cut the deficit even further, but missed the free throw as Boston went into the final frame up 90-78.

The Nets shot just 42 percent in the third while the Celtics shot at a great 57 percent. Tatum had 12 points in the third to help Boston put some much-needed space between them and the Nets. Irving scored six points to bring his total to 13 up to this point, while Durant has 27 points after three.

- Nash went with Durant, Irving, Blake Griffin, Curry and Dragic to start the fourth. Brooklyn went out to a 6-0 run, but Tatum hit a three to stop the run. Tatum would pick up his fifth foul after a charge with eight minutes remaining, Boston would challenge and fail, to put the Celtics star on the bench. On the next possession, Durant would pick up his fourth foul. The Nets would cut the lead to three, but the Celtics would always answer with a big three pointer. Tatum would pick up his sixth foul with three minutes to go.

Following Tatum fouling out, Irving and Durant hit back-to-back buckets to cut the Boston lead to 109-108. Griffin came out with 1:14 remaining and gave the Nets some valuable minutes rebounding and on defense. Jaylen Brown would hit a layup to put the Celtics up 111-108 and Durant missed a three. Durant was fouled and made just one of two from the line. On the miss on the second shot, the Nets didn't foul, which led to the Celtics getting an easy layup. The Nets did not get back on defense, which was a microcosm of this series for Brooklyn.

- Durant had a game-high 39 points on 13-of-31 shooting. Irving had a better second half in Game 4 but could only muster 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Curry scored 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting (including 5-of-9 from three).

Highlights