NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 23: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics dunks against Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets during Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center on April 23, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images).

CELTICS 109 – NETS 103

The Brooklyn Nets are on the brink of elimination, and with it, they are likely on the brink of watching the gamble they made in the summer of 2019 come crashing down.

The Nets fell to the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of their first round playoff series by the count of 109-103; Brooklyn now trails that series 3-0. Barring a miraculous comeback, the Nets will face elimination every time they step on the court in this series beginning Monday night in Game 4.

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving had lackluster efforts on Saturday. Both All Stars each scored only 16 points, while combining to go 12-for-28 from the field.

Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum, who has been all world already in this series, was unstoppable once again in Game 3, netting 39 points on 13-of-29 shooting, including 4-for-13 from downtown, and 9-for-10 from the free throw line.

Jaylen Brown added 23 points in the favor of the Celtics.

For Durant and Irving, the Nets run the past two seasons has all been about the potential success of these two All Stars coming together, and for the most part it hasn’t work out. They were supposed to user in an era of unstoppable basketball, with stars from across the league crawling to New York to play with them. And That too hasn’t worked out.

Whether it be injury, or the failure that was James Harden’s short-lived tenure in Brooklyn to now, suddenly, an inactive Ben Simmons — who has yet to set foot on the court in a Nets uniform — nothing has worked for Brooklyn.

This year was all about getting Irving back on the floor, especially for home games, even though he is supposedly unvaccinated against COVID-19. The Nets got what they wanted, Irving returned to the floor, he played well down the stretch in the regular season, but this was all about the playoffs, and thus far it hasn’t work out.

If the Nets go out in four or five games, it will be hard not to look back at the Durant-Irving era as anything but a failure in Brooklyn.