The Boston Celtics are going for a 3-0 lead when Game 3 of this firs-round series resumes this Sunday. The Brooklyn Nets can’t afford to lose this game, as a loss would sound the death knell for their championship aspirations.
Catch this game live on Sunday, April 24, at 7:30 AM, Manila time.
Away: Boston Celtics (2-0/0-0 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Marcus Smart
- SG: Jaylen Brown
- SF: Jayson Tatum
- PF: Al Horford
- C: Daniel Theis
Up 2-0 in the series, the Celtics are getting a shot in the arm in time for their first road game of the playoffs. Robert Williams is set to make his return to action after missing a bunch of games when Boston takes to the floor at Barclays Center. Even without Williams in the first two games of the first round, the Celtics have had so much success rebounding the ball and making key stops in crucial moments. So far in the series, they are outrebounding the Nets by an average of 7.5 boards per contest. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are unsurprisingly leading the attack of Boston, with 25.0 and 22.5 points, respectively.
The surprise in Boston side is in the play of veteran Al Horford, who’s stepped up in the absence of Williams, putting up a double-double of 18.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Boston is also looking to continue getting ample scoring support from the bench after Grant Williams and Payton Pritchard combined for 27 points in Game 2. The Celtics are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games away from TD Garden.
Home: Brooklyn Nets (0-2/0-0 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Kyrie Irving
- SG: Seth Curry
- SF: Bruce Brown
- PF: Kevin Durant
- C: Andre Drummond
All eyes in Brooklyn will be on Kevin Durant, who was uncharacteristically shot just 4/17 from the field. Durant still finished with 27 points on the strength of an 18/20 shooting from the foul line, but Brooklyn needs him to be more effective from the floor. Then there’s Kyrie Irving, who’s also going to be major focus after putting up only 10 points in Game 2.
That was a particularly infuriating performance for Irving because he just exploded for 39 points in the series opener. With the series going to Brooklyn, the hope is that the Nets will finally play to the full potential of a team that features two all-time greats. So far in the series, the Nets are getting 25.0 points and 24.5 points per game from Durant and Irving, respectively, though Durant is only shooting 31.7 FG%. The Nets head to Game 3 with a 9-2 ATS record in their last 11 games when the Celtics are in town.
Spread: The Nets win and covers (-3.5).
Over/Under: The total hits the Over, as Durant and Kyrie propel Brooklyn’s high-scoring offense (221.5).