LeVert scores 51 points, Nets stun Celtics 129-120 in OT

BOSTON (AP) — Kevin Durant called it a masterpiece. The Celtics called it an unacceptable collapse. The Brooklyn Nets were just happy it ended up as a victory.

Caris LeVert scored 37 of his career-high 51 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to help the Nets erase a 21-point, second-half deficit and beat Boston 129-120 on Tuesday night.

“The basket was so big at that point. I got some easy layups going to the rim,” LeVert said. “I’m just trying to get a good look.”

It was a stunning end to a four-game losing streak for Brooklyn, which is trying to hold onto the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Boston has lost two straight.

LeVert had all of Brooklyn’s 11 points in the extra period, finishing just three points shy of the Nets’ season high for a player. Kyrie Irving scored 54 points against Chicago on January 31.

Nets coach Kenny Atkinson pulled his starters in the third quarter before inserting LeVert in the fourth. LeVert sent the game to the extra frame, getting fouled on a 3-point attempt by Marcus Smart and connecting on all of his free throws with 0.2 seconds left.

“The second quarter, I think I only had like two buckets that quarter and the third quarter I didn’t score,” LeVert said. “I knew that if I got the chance to go back in there we had a shot at winning the game.”

That capped a 51-point fourth quarter by the Nets, a franchise record for most points in any period.

“It’s really hard to even comment,” Atkinson said. “I’m trying to, like, process it all — 51 points in the fourth quarter against a team like that.”

Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert drives to the basket against Boston Celtics’ Daniel Theis. PHOTO: AP