Celtics sweep Nets 116-112, advance to 2nd round of playoffs


NEW YORK (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 29 points, Jaylen Brown had 22 and the Boston Celtics completed a four-game sweep of the Brooklyn Nets, becoming the first team to reach the second round of the playoffs with a 116-112 victory Monday night.

Marcus Smart added 20 points and 11 assists for the No. 2-seeded Celtics, who made easy work of what was thought could be a tough series. Boston will wait for the winner of the series between Milwaukee and Chicago. The defending champion Bucks hold a 3-1 lead in that series.

Kevin Durant had 39 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, but he couldn’t get the Nets the win they needed to extend what instead goes down as a massive failure of a season.

Seth Curry scored 23 points for the Nets. Kyrie Irving, whose unavailability for home games much of the season because he isn’t vaccinated against the coronavirus contributed to the Nets performing so far below expectations, had 20 points.

MAVERICKS 102, JAZZ 77

DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic had 33 points and 13 rebounds in his first home playoff game coming off a calf injury and Dallas routed Utah for a 3-2 lead in the teams’ first-round playoff series.

Game 5 was never really close, thanks to Utah’s nearly six-minute scoreless drought in the second quarter that fueled a 22-4 Dallas run on the way to a 52-36 halftime lead. Game 6 is Thursday night in Salt Lake City.

Jordan Clarkson scored 20 points and Rudy Gobert added 17 points and 11 rebounds in the lowest-scoring game for the Jazz since they lost by 50 at Dallas (118-68) on Nov. 14, 2018.

Jalen Brunson scored 24 points for Dallas. Dorian Finney-Smith added 13, and Dwight Powell got the crowd going early with all eight of his points on 4-of-4 shooting in the first.

RAPTORS 103, 76ERS 88

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pascal Siakam scored 23 points, Precious Achiuwa had 17 and Toronto forced a return home for Game 6 against Philadelphia.

The Raptors moved within 3-2 in their Eastern Conference first-round series. Game 6 is Thursday night in Toronto. The Raptors have won the last two games in the series.

Joel Embiid had 20 points and 11 rebounds playing with a thumb injury. James Harden scored 15 points.

The Raptors opened the second quarter on a 12-0 run to take control. The 76ers were booed off the court at halftime and throughout their latest lackluster postseason effort.