While the Nets got a combined 61 points from their big three of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden on Tuesday, it was Joe Harris’ huge night that may have made the difference for Brooklyn in their 130-108 win over the Celtics in Game 2.
Harris tied a Nets playoff record with seven made three-pointers (7-of-10), scoring 25 points to help Brooklyn take a commanding 2-0 lead in their first round series.
Six of Harris’ threes came in the first half, as Brooklyn dominated the Celtics in the first 24 minutes of action, taking a 71-47 lead into halftime.
“You’re so just sort of caught up in the game, the rhythm of the game, and a lot of it too with me, I kind of say the same stuff even during the regular season, where if I have space, I’m going to shoot it,” Harris said after the game. “Tonight, for instance, I was able to get 10 shots up, so a lot of the time it’s like if I have space or room and rhythm, I’m looking to try to be aggressive.
“Other games, the game sort of fluctuates and you just have to take and give whatever the game gives you, and tonight was one of those situations where I just had a lot of open looks early, and then you get the confidence going, you start hunting a little bit more, and guys start looking for you.”
Durant led all scorers for the Nets with 26 points on 8-of-12 shooting, but he acknowledged afterwards that Harris’ red-hot shooting opened up plenty of opportunities for the Nets as a team.
“When Joe gets it going like that, that unlocks our whole team,” Durant said. “But we know that Joe can run off nine to 12 points at any given moment, so we’ve got to continue to look for him.”
“Early in the game you could see that us driving the basketball, collapsing the defense, we were going to get a few guys open shots,” added Irving. “Joe happened to be the recipient of a few of those early in the game. Created separation, and then we were able to pace on both ends of the floor after we got it going offensively.
“Good night for Joe, good night for all of us to just play off one another and make easy reads.”
The Nets now head to Boston for Game 3, with tipoff set for Friday at 8:30 p.m.