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Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown lead Celtics to 109-103 win, 3-0 lead over Nets

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Tatum scored a game-high 39 points and had five rebounds, six assists and six steals in the win.

Jayson Tatum (39 points) easily outplayed Kevin Durant in Game 3. Al Bello

NEW YORK (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 39 points, Jaylen Brown had 23, and the Boston Celtics took a 3-0 lead over the Brooklyn Nets with a 109-103 win Saturday night.

Let’s make it tough on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving again with their stifling defense, the Celtics put themselves in position to fight their way into the second round with a win Monday night in Brooklyn.

A “Let’s Go Celtics!” Let’s go Celtics! chanting broke out in the final minutes from the many fans in green who had seats at the Barclays Center.

Home fans had little to cheer about as the Nets faced a team that simply wouldn’t let them do anything.

Durant took just 11 shots, finishing with 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Irving had 6 of 17 points and also had 16 points for the Nets, who must decide whether to give Ben Simmons his debut Monday in an elimination game.

Boston led most of the way before the Nets cut it to three with just over a minute left in the third quarter. But Marcus Smart scored on a follow-up shot, jumped in transition before Brown got a steal and a dunk to make it 81-72 in the fourth.

Brown kept the Nets at bay from there, repeatedly finding a 1-on-1 game and heading for the basket. He set up Tatum for a 3-pointer in the corner after the Nets recovered in the four, then made a jump before Tatum converted a three-point play that made it 96-84 with 6:25 left. player.

The Celtics picked up center Robert Williams after missing nearly a month with a torn cartilage in his left knee, strengthening their defense.

Bruce Brown was the Nets player who could really solve it, scoring a playoff career-high 26 points.

Durant was just 13 of 41 (31.7%) in the two games in Boston with 12 turnovers, and the Nets’ only real hope was to regain his form at home.

He made a 3-deck on his first shot attempt after going 0 of 10 in the second half in Game 2, but he could never consistently find room to shoot while committing five more turnovers.

The Celtics held Durant to just two shots and led 30-25 after one quarter, then got seven straight points through reserve guard Payton Pritchard to open the second and push the lead to 37-25. Boston was still ahead by eight with less than a minute and a half left in the half, but the Nets went seven straight and it was 53-50 at the break.

TIPS

Celtics: Smart scored 14 points. … Williams had two points and two rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench in his first game since March 27 after missing the final seven games of the regular season.

Nets: Patty Mills was honored before the start for being voted the winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award on Friday. … Blake Griffin played for the first time in the series, scoring eight points. … Director Spike Lee, a longtime Knicks fan, was at the game wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers jersey and hat.

SIMMONS STATUS

Coach Steve Nash said Simmons went 3-for-3 on Saturday morning and suffered no setbacks. He said it was possible Simmons could play in Game 4, but warned that given his long layoff, with his herniated disc at the end, there was more to consider than if Simmons was feeling good afterwards. his workouts.

“There’s a lot of bigger picture, bigger context about how he’s feeling, about his ability to adapt to the environment,” Nash said. “It’s a bit different to play a game that’s hidden in the middle of the regular season, so I think there are a few factors at play here to gauge when he’s ready to play.”

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