Nets vs Celtics, Game 3

Nets vs Celtics, Game 3 | NBA Betting Analysis

Written by on May 28, 2021

The Brooklyn Nets completely dominated the Boston Celtics in the first two games of their Eastern Conference playoff series. If the Celtics have any chance in the series, and they probably don’t, they must win Game 3 as the series shifts to Boston. The Nets are solid favorites on the NBA odds.

How to Bet Nets at Celtics NBA Odds & TV Info

  • When: Friday, 8:30 PM ET
  • Where: TD Garden
  • TV: ABC
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:

Why Bet on Brooklyn? | NBA Betting Analysis

Brooklyn trashed the Celtics 130-108 in Game 2 on Tuesday. The Nets made 11 of their first 14 shots – five of their first six 3-pointers — in jumping out to a 29-13 lead seven minutes into the game, going on to lead by as many as 26 points in the first half and by 24 at halftime. The Brooklyn lead rose as high as 33 points in the second half as the Nets went on to shoot 52.3 percent overall and 44.7 percent from 3-point range — plus 95.5 percent from the free throw line.

Kevin Durant was great as usual with 26 points, eight rebounds and five steals in just 29 minutes. After winning the series opener by 11 points Saturday night, Brooklyn made short work of the Celtics to win Game 2 and Durant was a big reason for that, as he did a better job of attacking the Boston defense in the paint.

James Harden had 20 points, seven assists and five rebounds in 27 minutes. The 31-year-old continues to shoot below his season average of 16.6 attempts a game, averaging 9.3 attempts over his last four games dating back to May 12. In the first two games vs. Boston, he’s averaging 20.5 points, 7.5 assists, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals.

Kyrie Irving added 15 points, six rebounds and six assists. He went from scoring 29 points on 20 shot attempts in Game 1 to 15 points on 12 attempts. Before Tuesday’s victory, Irving was averaging 22.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 three-pointers, 1.7 blocks and 1.3 steals over his last three games.

The surprise of Game 2 was Joe Harris with 25 points and making 7-for-10 from deep. “Joey Buckets” scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field in the first quarter. Brooklyn led by 14 at the end of one, and would take a 24-point lead into the half. Harris made six 3-pointers in the first half, setting a single-game franchise playoff record in the process.

The Nets reached 130 points in a playoff game for the 2nd time in franchise history and the first time in a regulation game. They scored 134 points against the Bulls in game 4 of the 2013 1st round, a game that went 3 OT.

Why Bet on Boston? | NBA Betting Analysis

There’s not much positive to say about the Celtics. The Nets led for the remainder of the contest after gaining a 14-12 advantage at the 8:09 mark of the first quarter. The Nets shot 61.5 percent from the field during the opening quarter of Game 2, which helped them pull ahead by as many as 16 points during the frame.

The shutdown defense that closed out Brooklyn’s Game 1 win carried over, with the Nets limiting the Celtics to 42.4 percent shooting in Game 2. Through two games, Brooklyn has held the Celtics to 39.7 percent shooting overall and 35.9 percent from 3-point range.

Star Jayson Tatum (right eye) was taken to the locker room during the third quarter of Tuesday’s game. He Tatum was inadvertently poked in the eye by Kevin Durant, and fell to the court after taking a couple steps towards the Celtics bench. With the Celtics down big, Tatum never returned. Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Jayson Tatum’s eye was swollen and that the star forward was “uncomfortable” after Game 2.  Before exiting, Tatum’s struggles from the second half of Game 1, in which he missed all six of his field goal attempts, carried over to Game 2, as he finished a dismal 3-for-12 from the field and with nine points in 21 minutes.

“He went back out on the court [and] tried to readjust to the light out there, and he was really struggling,” Stevens told reporters after the game. “He got scratched pretty good. It looks pretty red, it looks pretty swollen to me. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what the exact diagnosis is.”

Marcus Smart finished Tuesday’s loss to the Nets with 19 points, six assists and three rebounds. Smart shot 5-of-8 on 3-pointers, a solid showing after he went just 3-of-8 in Saturday’s series opener. Evan Fournier (16 points with four 3-pointers) also shot the ball well from deep, making four of his five attempts. Kemba Walker (17 points) and Tristan Thompson (15 points, 11 rebounds) were Boston’s other double-digit scorers.

On the bright side, the Celtics and Nets were nearly identical in scoring in several categories: points in the paint (48-48), bench points (33-32 Brooklyn) second-chance points (17-15 Boston), fast break points (20-15 Brooklyn). Seven Celtics combined to grab 10 steals.

“We’ve been in a lot of series here over the last few years,” Stevens said. “We’ve been down 2-0, we’ve been up 2-0. Several times, the script has flipped. You gotta focus on what you can control, but there’s no question that we look forward to playing at TD Garden, and we’ll look forward to playing with more fans in TD Garden.”

Game Trends

  • Nets are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
  • Nets are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
  • Nets are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a road favorite.
  • Celtics are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss.
  • Celtics are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.

Expert Prediction

  • Nets 118, Celtics 114
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