Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum spun around Kyrie Irving to finish a clutch layup as time expired, lifting the Boston Celtics to a 115-114 win over the Brooklyn Nets in a thrilling Game 1 of their 2022 NBA Playoff series.

Irving nearly led the Nets to victory as he scored 39 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter. The Nets came back from down 15 points to take a late-fourth-quarter lead, as Irving drained a three-pointer to give the Nets a 114-111 lead with just 45.9 seconds left in regulation. Jaylen Brown made a quick lay-in to cut the deficit to one and give the Celtics the chance at the two-for-one to close the game, then stifled Irving with double-teams at the other end to get themselves to the deciding final possession.

Tatum spent much of the first half as a facilitator, with seven of his eight assists. But his shot came alive in the second quarter, as he scored 11 in that frame alone to help the C’s keep pace. Tatum finished with 31 points, to go along with four rebounds, one steal, and two blocks.

The Celtics held a narrow one-point lead after one quarter, despite the Nets turning the ball over seven times. Brooklyn shot 50 percent overall in the first quarter, compared to 42.9 percent for Boston, and was also better at the free throw line (11-of-12 vs 7-of-10). The Nets’ shooting only improved in the second quarter, finishing the first half shooting 20-for-37 (54.1 percent) as a team. At halftime, the teams ended up tied 61-61, after a first half that featured 17 lead changes.

Boston came out hot in the third quarter, starting off with a 12-2 run, and led by as much as 15 before taking a 96-85 lead into the fourth. The third was powered mainly by a red-hot stretch for point guard Marcus Smart, who scored 11 points. At one point, Smart stole Irving’s ill-advised inbound pass and made an easy layup.

Irving came alive in the fourth and made multiple taunting gestures toward booing Celtics fans along the way, but Tatum had the last word. The Celtics have a 1-0 lead in the series, with Game 2 coming Wednesday in Boston.

PHOTOS: Celtics beat Nets in Game 1 of their playoff series

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  • Mar 6, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) reacts during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 6, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) reacts during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden. (Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports)

    Game 1: Sunday, Apr. 17 at TD Garden (3:30 p.m., ABC)

    The fun between the rivals will begin with an Easter Sunday showdown at TD Garden.

    The game, which is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. tipoff on ABC, will mark the first time that the Celtics have started the postseason at home at TD Garden since their 2019 first-round series with the Pacers. That was also a Sunday afternoon tilt at TD Garden, though it was not an Easter Sunday showdown.

  • Mar 6, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) drives to the basket during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 6, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) drives to the basket during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden. (Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports)

    Game 2: Wednesday, Apr. 20 at TD Garden (7 p.m., TNT)

    4-20 will certainly feature some green in Boston, with the Celtics and Nets set to resume their series with after a full two-day break between Games 1 and 2.  This game is set for a 7 p.m. tip on TNT, according to the NBA.

    The Celtics are 6-3 in Game 2 contests since 2018, and are 4-0 in their last four Game 2 games at TD Garden.

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 08: Patty Mills #8 of the Brooklyn Nets is defended by Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics in the first half at Barclays Center on February 08, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 08: Patty Mills #8 of the Brooklyn Nets is defended by Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics in the first half at Barclays Center on February 08, 2022 in New York City. (Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

    Game 3: Saturday, Apr. 23 at Barclays Center (TBD, ESPN)

    After yet another full two-day break between games, the Celtics and Nets will take their head-to-head to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for a Saturday Game 3. The game, which does not have a start time as of right now, will air on ESPN.

  • BOSTON, MA - MARCH 06 Grant Williams #12 of the Boston Celtics guards Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets during a game at TD Garden on March 6, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MA – MARCH 06 Grant Williams #12 of the Boston Celtics guards Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets during a game at TD Garden on March 6, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

    Game 4: Monday, Apr. 25 at Barclays Center (TBD, TBD)

    Game 4 will come with mark the start of an every-other-day series finish between the sides.

  • BOSTON, MA - MARCH 06 Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket past Bruce Brown #1 of the Brooklyn Nets during a game at TD Garden on March 6, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MA – MARCH 06 Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket past Bruce Brown #1 of the Brooklyn Nets during a game at TD Garden on March 6, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

    Game 5: Wednesday, Apr. 27 at TD Garden (TBD, TBD)

    The Nets eliminated the Celtics in five games last year. This time around, if necessary, the Celtics will have the home court advantage in that Game 5. The Celtics have wins in five of their last seven Game 5 showdowns. They’ve been eliminated in both of those Game 5 defeats (2019 against Milwaukee and 2021 against Brooklyn).

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 01: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles as Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics defends during the second half of Game Five of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at Barclays Center on June 01, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 01: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles as Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics defends during the second half of Game Five of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at Barclays Center on June 01, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

    Game 6: Friday, Apr. 29 at Barclays Center (TBD, TBD)

    Weird-and-likely-meaningless stat: The Celtics were 8-8 on Fridays in 2021-22. That was tied with a 10-10 record on Wednesdays for their worst winning percentage on any day of the week during the 2021-22 season. The Nets, meanwhile, had wins in 10 of their 12 games on Friday nights. That was their best day of the week record-wise.

  • BOSTON, MA - MARCH 06  Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket past Nic Claxton #33 of the Brooklyn Nets during a game at TD Garden on March 6, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MA – MARCH 06 Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket past Nic Claxton #33 of the Brooklyn Nets during a game at TD Garden on March 6, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

    Game 7: Sunday, May 1 at TD Garden (TBD, TBD)

    The Celtics have not had a Game 7 at the Garden since the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals.

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