BROOKLYN, NEW YORK -- Prior to Boston's Game 3 matchup against Brooklyn, fans in attendance were given a white towel to wave as the players came onto the floor.
While the intent was promotional, it would actually prove to be prophetic as a sign of surrender for the hometown team.
Because Game 3 proved to be not all that different from Games 1 and 2, with the Boston Celtics making all the big plays at both ends of the floor when it mattered most.
And the end result was a 109-103 Celtics victory, giving them a 3-0 series lead.
Daunting doesn't even begin to describe the hole that the highly-powered, highly-regarded Brooklyn Nets find themselves in.
No team in NBA history has ever bounced back in a best-of-seven playoff series to win it after falling behind 3-0.
And based on how the Nets have played through the first three games, they have shown no signs of being the first.
But we really should have seen this coming before tip-off when all those white towels were being waved - the clearest indicator of a team surrendering.
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds in Boston’s Game 3 win over Brooklyn which gives them a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Jayson Tatum: After scoring 10 points in the first quarter, Tatum's offensive game went into slow drip-mode the rest of the night before finishing with an impressive 39 points along with five rebounds, six assists and six steals.
Bruce Brown: Not only did he step up in a big way in Game 3 to keep the Nets in the game, but he has truthfully been Brooklyn’s most consistent player the entire series. In Game 3, Brown was red-hot from the outset, scoring 16 points in the first half. He would finish with a team-high 26 points while also chipping in eight rebounds.
Jaylen Brown: That look in Jaylen’s eyes when he saw the Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin in the game…priceless. Brown exploited that matchup repeatedly in the third quarter which was instrumental to Boston pulling away for the win. Brown would finish with 23 points and five assists.
Payton Pritchard: There are several exceptional one-on-one players in this series, but Pritchard drained a couple of, “how did he do that?” shots over Brooklyn defenders. He would finish with 10 points in just over 12 minutes of playing time.
Nic Claxton: The Nets needed some kind of spark off the bench, and Nic Claxton did his part. He would finish with 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field, to go with seven rebounds.
Kevin Durant: In the biggest game of the season, arguably the best player on the planet once again looked as mortal as we’ve seen him, ever. Durant would tally 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting, to go with eight rebounds and eight assists. Those are decent numbers for the average NBA player. But we’re talking about Kevin Durant, folks. Those numbers, especially in a must-win game, simply aren’t good enough.
Kyrie Irving: Similar to Durant, Irving had a great Game 1 performance and has essentially been a non-factor in Games 2 and 3. It’s never good when your star player has almost as many fouls (5) as made field goals (6). And Irving’s six made baskets, came on 17 shot attempts. Brooklyn has some tough decisions to make this offseason, among them is what to do with Irving.
Steve Nash: In Games 2 and 3, it appeared as though Nash made some efforts towards making adjustments but for the most part, he was like his star players - a non-factor. While it’s unlikely he’s anywhere close to being on the hot seat, the Nets have to think long and hard about trying to get him some more help on the bench, particularly an assistant coach or two whose strength lies in X’s and O’s.