Nets defeat Celtics in Game 5, reach second round of NBA playoffs

Brooklyn’s offensive firepower provided by Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden overwhelmed Boston.

The Nets ended the Celtics’ season with a 123-109 victory in Game 5 of their first-round Eastern Conference series on Tuesday.

Harden led the Nets in scoring for the first time in the series with 34 points, Irving had 25 points and Durant dropped in 24 points. Harden also had 10 rebounds and 10 assists for a triple-double.

In Brooklyn’s victories, it was a familiar story: too much Durant, Irving and Harden for Boston to contain. Those three scored 66% of Brooklyn’s points in the four wins, and they all shot better than 50% from the field and 40% on 3-pointers in those games.

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden celebrates a basket during the Game 5 win against the Boston Celtics.

Celtics star Jayson Tatum tried shoot Boston to a Game 6. But his team-high 32 points weren’t enough against Brooklyn’s Big 3, who powered the Nets into the second round for the first time in seven years. 

Now, the premier second-round matchup in the East is set: second-seed Brooklyn vs. third-seeded Milwaukee, which swept Miami. Game 1 is Saturday in Brooklyn.

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Star power illuminates this series with Brooklyn’s trio and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.

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