The Boston Celtics failed to duplicate Friday's effort with another home victory over the Brooklyn Nets in Game 4.
The Nets cruised to a 141-126 win Sunday night to put the C's on the brink of elimination. The series will head back to Brooklyn for a do-or-die Game 5 for Boston on Tuesday night.
Here are three quick takeaways from the Celtics' loss.
Kyrie Irving quiets the TD Garden crowd
After putting up a dud in front of approximately 5,000 fans at TD Garden in Game 3, Irving redeemed himself in front of a full house.
Irving was the target of loud bood and chants throughout Game 4 with the venue at full capacity for the first time since he donned a C's uniform in 2019. It didn't appear to negatively affect him this time around as he was unstoppable from start to finish.
Irving finished with 39 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 11-for-24 from the field and 6-for-12 from 3. TD Garden was loud despite the Celtics' lopsided loss, but it would have been a whole lot louder had Irving not put on a show like he did.
Following the game, Irving topped off his performance by purposely stepping on the Celtics' logo. Moments later, a fan threw a water bottle at Irving as he exited the arena. It was an ugly sequence of events that soured an otherwise celebratory weekend of a return to normalcy at TD Garden.
No answer for Brooklyn's Big Three
Irving was a problem for the Celtics on Sunday night and so were his partners in crime, Kevin Durant and James Harden.
Brooklyn's Big Three combined for 59 points in the first half of Game 4. To put that into perspective, the Celtics had 60 as a team in the first half.
Durant finished with a game-high 42 points. Harden tallied 23 points and 18 assists on the night. Altogether, that's 94 points for the Nets' superstar trio.
Brooklyn ended up with 112 points through the first three quarters. That's the most points the C's have allowed through first three quarters of a playoff game.
Not enough help for Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum did everything he could do to keep the Celtics competitive in this one. The 23-year-old followed up his 50-point performance in Game 3 with 40 points in Sunday night's defeat.
It marked Tatum's seventh 40-point game of the season.
Still, it wasn't nearly enough as the Celtics couldn't keep up with the Nets' offensive onslaught. Marcus Smart and Evan Fournier tallied 16 points apiece and Payton Pritchard added 12 off the bench, but the absence of a legitimate secondary scorer was glaring.
Tatum certainly could have used the Kemba Walker who finished the regular season on a tear. Walker scored 30 or more points in four of his final six regular-season games, but a bone bruise in his knee suffered in Game 2 contributed to his struggles in Game 3 and his subsequent absence in Game 4.
Without both Walker and Jaylen Brown (out for the season after undergoing wrist surgery), Tatum just doesn't have enough of a supporting cast to overcome this relentless Brooklyn group.