The Boston Celtics have been one of the NBA’s best teams all season and are on a short list of favorites to win the championship. But no matter how the season ultimately ends, the Celtics and their fans will not look back on Friday with a lot of fondness.
Boston dominated the early outset of the game, leading 37-15 after the first quarter. With 7:23 left in the second quarter, Jaylen Brown made a layup to put the Celtics up 51-23. Then, things changed.
The Nets dominated the rest of the quarter but still went into halftime trailing 64-55. Brooklyn kept coming back in the second half, though. After three quarters, the Nets led 89-84. They went on to win 115-105.
During the game, Sean Grande, the Celtics play-by-play man on the radio, spotlighted just how dramatic the turnaround was.
Peak win probabilities tonight..
Celtics – 99.3% mid-2nd quarter
Nets – 99.6% mid-4th quarter
108-96, Brooklyn, 4:44 left.
— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) March 4, 2023
Given how long the NBA season is, every team is going to have a few games that are unexplainable. Still, this one was extreme.
Heading into Friday’s matchup, the Celtics had defeated the Nets in 10 straight games. Boston won those games by an average of 14.7 points and won the most recent meeting by a whopping 43 points. Brooklyn also went into Friday on a four-game losing streak, with those losses coming by an average of 21 points. The Celtics have been inconsistent in recent weeks, but had won four of their previous five games before Friday.
Given all of that, plus the 28-point lead, this was not a game that Boston should have blown. And the Celtics were blasted on Twitter for their performance.
This must be the worst loss of the season. Celtics started messing around, gave the Nets life and could never get back on track.
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 4, 2023
The way the Nets have played out of the break combined with the 10 game losing streak against the Celtics and being down 28 adds up to one of the most shocking wins you’ll see.
— Evan Roberts (@EvanRobertsWFAN) March 4, 2023
Celtics did what now?
— John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) March 4, 2023
The Celtics led the Nets 51-23 early in the second quarter.
Brooklyn outscored Boston 92-54 the rest of the way 🤯 pic.twitter.com/RAR2GJD0H8
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 4, 2023
Can't cheat the game for two full quarters and then expect to get breaks in the last four minutes. #Celtics #Nets
— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) March 4, 2023