Jayson Tatum, Celtics hit historic low after 28-point choke job to Nets

Jayson Tatum and his Boston Celtics seemed to be well on their way to another routine victory at home, as they got off to a strong start against the Brooklyn Nets during their Friday night contest. In fact, the Celtics led by as many as 28 points in the middle of the second quarter following a Jaylen Brown bucket. However, the new-look Nets, led by Mikal Bridges, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Cameron Johnson, had other ideas.

Something clicked for the Nets ever since the 7:23 mark of the second quarter. Facing a 51-23 deficit, the Nets proceeded to outscore the Celtics 92-54 the rest of the way en route to a 115-105 loss for Boston – arguably their worst of the season. In fact, their defeat is one of historic proportions for over at least the past 26 years.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Celtics’ 28-point collapse tied their second largest blown lead since the 1996-97 season. On the other hand, the Nets’ 28-point comeback matched their largest in the play-by-play era that spans the past 26 seasons. The Nets also completed a similar comeback last season, when they defeated in-state rivals New York Knicks after roaring back from a 28-point deficit.

Jaylen Brown’s 35-point effort was not enough to outduel Mikal Bridges, who has found new life as the Nets’ number one offensive option. Acquired as the centerpiece in the trade that sent Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns, Bridges tallied 38 points on 13-22 shooting.

In fact, the players the Nets acquired in their trade deadline haul all showed out in their enterprising comeback victory. Cameron Johnson, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Dorian Finney-Smith scored 20, 17, and 17 points, respectively, to help out Bridges.

Meanwhile, the Celtics’ inability to take care of the ball came back to haunt them. They finished the game with 19 turnovers, seven more than the Nets’ total. In addition, Jayson Tatum simply could not buy a bucket from deep, finishing with a donut from downtown in eight attempts.

The Celtics’ historic loss gives them their 19th defeat of the season against 45 wins. This setback puts them a game behind the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference standings, who have overtaken the Celtics following a 16-game winning streak.

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