Nets takeaways from 114-107 Game 2 loss to Celtics, including Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving disappearing

Kevin Durant Al Horford cropped 4/20/22
Kevin Durant Al Horford cropped 4/20/22

The Nets blew a largest lead of 17 points with superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving nowhere to be found in a 114-107 Game 2 loss at the Boston Celtics.

Five things to know from Wednesday's game

1. For a second straight game, the Celtics were all over Kevin Durant. He scored 27 points in 42 minutes, but on 4-of-17 shooting, needing free throws (18 -of-20) to fluff up his numbers.

Durant's pullup jumper at the second quarter's 1:45 mark put Brooklyn up 62-45. But later on when it mattered, after a 90-85 lead entering the fourth quarter -- including a 92-85 margin at the 11:38 mark -- Durant's misses and turnovers (six total) left the Nets without an answer while the Celtics went on a late run and never looked back.

2. Durant did not get help from his running mate, Irving, who was a non-factor throughout the game. He tallied six points at halftime and struggled mightily from the floor the rest of the way, totaling 10, a stark contrast from Game 1's 39-point outburst. Irving, who went back and forth with Boston's home crowd Sunday, was quiet this time. Durant and Irving were a combined 8-of-30 shooting, with Irving going 4-for-13 in 40 minutes.

3. The Nets contained Jayson Tatum, (19 points on 5-of-16 shooting in 41 minutes), but Jaylen Brown (team-high 22) caught fire in the fourth quarter. Grant Williams (17), Al Horford (16) and Daniel Theis (15) picked up the slack throughout the game before Brown came alive with a 10-point spark in crunch time. Brown's layup at the 8:24 mark tied things up 92-92 before a Payton Pritchard jumper 35 seconds gave the Celtics a lead they did not relinquish in their game-changing 14-2 run into the 4:03 point, 101-94.

4. Bruce Brown got the Nets going, evidenced by a 9-0 run to start the game and a 14-point first half, and was a constant throughout the rest of the contest. He rounded out his performance with 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting -- including a 3-for-4 clip from long range -- while adding eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks in 38 minutes.

5. Goran Dragic was a huge spark as the Nets took a largest lead of 15 points twice in the first half, scoring 16 of his overall 18. Dragic started 7-of-10 shooting with those first-half points coming in just 11 minutes, but subsequently did not get involved much.

Seth Curry showed up in timely spots as well, adding 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting and a 4-for-6 clip from long range in 31 minutes. Ultimately, though, Brooklyn's role players did not get much help from its iso-ball-dominant stars.


What's next

After a couple of days off, the Nets and Celtics return to action for Game 3 Saturday at 7:30 p.m. from Barclays Center. Brooklyn is down 0-2 to Boston entering a must-win stretch on the Nets' home floor.

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