The Nets, with 28 losses against the Celtics, are making the NBA’s biggest comeback of the season

BOSTON — The Brooklyn Nets entered TD Garden for Friday night’s game against the Boston Celtics on a four-game losing streak.

Then, midway through the second quarter, Brooklyn found itself staring at a 28-point deficit — and seemed on track for its fifth straight loss.

The Nets, however, had other ideas.

“There was a point in that first quarter, early in the second quarter, where we looked at each other and said, ‘We’re not going to come out like this,’ and it brought us together,” Nets forward Cam Johnson said.

Not only did it bring Brooklyn together — it also served as a catalyst for a truly remarkable turn of events. Not only did the Nets find a way back into the game, but they were able to completely erase that deficit early in the third quarter and never looked back. They came away with a 115-105 victory over the former East-leading Celtics in front of a shocked sellout crowd.

The victory in Brooklyn was the longest comeback win of the season by any NBA team, according to ESPN Stats & Info, and tied for the longest comeback by any team in the past 25 seasons.

It also snapped a 10-game losing streak for the Nets against the Celtics, including last season’s playoffs.

“I think we took our foot off the gas,” said Jaylen Brown, who led Boston with 35 points, “and [Brooklyn] it just raised their pressure a bit.”

The celebratory mood in the first few minutes of the game — one Boston led 37-15 after one quarter and 51-23 with 7:23 left in the second — was replaced by frustration and several rounds of boos as Brooklyn rolled to a ridiculous 83-39 lead. in 24 minutes and 29 seconds.

“We’re off to a good start,” said Jayson Tatum, who had 22 points, 13 rebounds and five assists while going 10-for-23 from the field and 0-for-8 from 3 (the most 3s he’s ever attempted in a game without making one). “We lost our composure a little bit as a team. They kept rolling, we didn’t necessarily get it back. It just became difficult to come back.”

As Boston roared out of the gate, it looked like it would be an easy night for the Celtics (45-19), who now sit two losses behind the Milwaukee Bucks for first place in the Eastern Conference standings. But even as the Celtics took a 37-15 lead after the first quarter, coach Joe Mazzulla was concerned about how the game was going — particularly that Brooklyn was getting up more 3s early than Boston.

“I was actually worried because we were scoring, but it wasn’t because we were making shots,” Mazzulla said. “It was because we were getting layups. And they’re a very analytical team. And so I knew the tide was going to turn because they were going to keep shooting 3s and if we weren’t playing at our shooting level. The 3s and the offensive rebounding and taking care of the ball, that’s going to it was costing us”.

It was a similar sentiment from Brooklyn’s side, as the Nets felt if they could stop making mistakes that allowed Boston to get one easy bucket after another, there was more than enough time to make a play.

“Really,” Johnson said when asked if early leads — because of the number of 3s taken in Friday’s game — might seem smaller than they once were. “Especially when you know you’re just putting a lot of effort into it, and that’s what it’s all about. In the NBA, prospects aren’t safe. Prospects aren’t safe, you know? People make runs. Sometimes they make shots, sometimes they don’t .

“And so you just have to stick to the script, keep your head down and keep working, and we made that effort across the board today and the result was a win.”

This was also, in part, because Mikal Bridges had another explosive game for the Nets. Bridges finished with 38 points — 32 of which came after the first quarter — on 13-for-22 shooting, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range, to go along with 10 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.

Bridges now has his career-high two scoring games — 45 points in a win over Miami last month and 38 against Boston — through his first eight games with the Nets after playing 365 games in the first four-plus seasons of his NBA career with Phoenix.

“I’m just trying to be aggressive, man,” Bridges said. “It’s all about just going out there and winning, and I feel like if I hit some of my spots … I feel like I can make it [shots].”

In doing so, the Nets (35-28) — now 2½ games ahead of the Heat for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference — stunned the Celtics, who nearly blew a big lead in Wednesday’s win over of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Mazzulla, in addition to saying his team “took its foot off the gas,” also pointed out how the Nets dominated in every statistical category — from taking and making more 3-and-free throws to taking more offensive rebounds rebounding to taking more shots — as an example of how his team just didn’t do enough to win the game.

Now, he said, it’s up to the Celtics to do better in those situations moving forward.

“You have to be able to handle it,” Mazzulla said. “You can’t get comfortable. It’s hard to say, it’s really hard to do, but you try to deal with situations like that so you’re like, ‘Oh, is it really preventable?’

“No, it’s not. Every team has done it. And so, for me, the area of ​​growth and the opportunity comes to make sure it doesn’t happen again if we find ourselves in this situation again.”

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