Boston Celtics

May 30, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (12) fouls Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) during the first half of game four in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. at TD Garden.

Trying to pull off a sequel to their surprising Game 3 upset, the Celtics came up short. Despite an early lead, the C’s fell to the Nets in Sunday night’s Game 4, 141-126 at TD Garden.

The Celtics got a bad blow before the game even began, with the news that Kemba Walker and Robert Williams would both be unavailable due to injury. Still, with 17,000-plus fans in the building for the first time all season, they got out to a strong start, and it felt like they had a real chance to even the series. However it was Kyrie Irving – who struggled in his much-anticipated return to Boston on Friday – that shifted the tide and opened up the door for the Nets.

Unlike in Game 3, when the Celtics trailed 19-4 early, they came out as the aggressors in Game 4. Marcus Smart knocked down a couple of three pointers, and Jayson Tatum got to the free throw line four times in the first five minutes.

Although the C’s got up by as many as nine points, they wouldn’t maintain that lead for long. Boston went cold towards the end of the quarter, and a 14-5 Nets run tied the game at 29. By the end of the first, the Celtics held a slight 34-33 lead. It was a free throw-heavy quarter, with the Nets hitting 14-of-14 from the stripe and the Celtics shooting 11-of-12.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at