Through three-quarters last night, it seemed as though the Brooklyn Nets were headed for their 5th straight loss. Down 84-67 against the Celtics on the road headed into the 4th, this struggling Brooklyn squad needed a miracle. Insert Caris Levert.
Levert Brilliant in Nets Huge 4th quarter
The Nets, in dire need of a spark, were able to rally behind the stellar play of Caris Levert. Levert became an assassin in the 4th quarter, dazzling and scoring at will against a tough Celtics defense. Three-pointers, reverse layups, off-balanced one-footed jumpers, Levert couldn’t be stopped. The Nets put up a franchise-best 51 points in the 4th, the most the team has ever scored in any quarter in franchise history. Levert was responsible for 26 of that 51, including 3 clutch free throws to tie the game with .02 seconds left. In overtime, Caris scored all 11 of Brooklyn’s points, the most by any player in the past 20 seasons, and led the Nets to a spectacular 129-120 win over the Celtics.
The former Michigan star ended the game with a career-high 51 points on 17 of 26 from the field, 5 of 10 from 3-point land, 12-18 on free throws, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal in only 25 minutes of play. After the game, teammate Kevin Durant showed Levert some well-deserved love, tweeting “that 50 was beautiful Vert. Thank you for that masterpiece.”
The other unsung hero of this game was Chris Chiozza, who played 21 big minutes down the stretch and finished with 8 points, scoring some big buckets with Dinwiddie sidelined in the 4th for reasons unknown. Atkinson went with an interesting lineup in the 4th, playing Kurucs, Chiozza, Jordan, Levert, and Taurean Prince down the stretch.
Unfortunately, losing the game was the least of the Celtics concerns, as their players dropped like flies over the course of the night. Already playing without Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward suffered a right knee contusion shortly before halftime. Jaylen Brown was seen grabbing his hamstring late in the game. And Kemba Walker, who wasn’t able to play in overtime since he was playing on a minutes restriction, didn’t look 100% in his first game back from injury. All 4 players may not travel to Cleveland tomorrow for the Celtics back to back.
The Nets will hope to carry this momentum at home tomorrow when Ja Morant and the Grizzlies come to town.