Boston Celtics complete 4-0 sweep of the Brooklyn Nets to advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs

The Boston Celtics completed a 4-0 sweep of the Brooklyn Nets in their Eastern Conference first-round series by holding on to a 116-112 victory Monday night in New York.

The Celtics led from the start as Jayson Tatum scored 29 points before fouling out with 2:49 remaining in the fourth quarter, and the Nets trailing by just six points.

In Tatum's absence, the Nets cut the deficit to one with 1:28 remaining before Jaylen Brown made a clutch late bucket to restore the Celtics' slender lead.

Without their top scorer, Boston relied on its league-leading defense led by Marcus Smart -- the 2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year -- to prevent the Nets from scoring a field goal in the last 58 seconds of the series.

"It's funny to us because we don't duck and dodge anybody," Smart told the media after the game. "We knew what we were going to come in here and do."

The Nets were led by a heroic Kevin Durant -- who scored 39 points, including a three-pointer off one leg which had Smart in awe -- and Kyrie Irving contributed 20,

It was the culmination of a disappointing season for the Nets, who had been picked by many as one of the title favorites.

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