Nets swept by Celtics in first round to end disappointing season

The Nets started the season as the betting favorites. They ended it the butt of jokes.

Brooklyn, dubbed a superteam expected to win the championship, suffered a humbling 116-112 Game 4 loss to the Celtics on Monday, and a first-round sweep that brought their campaign to an ignominious end.

The sellout crowd of 18,099 at Barclays Center watched Boston’s Jayson Tatum become a legitimate superstar right in front of their eyes, outplaying Kevin Durant over this series and dueling him to a standstill on Monday to close out a 4-0 series win for the Celtics.

It marked a bitter final chapter in an unpredictable and unprecedented season that had more melodrama than even bad reality TV could muster. Except it was real.

From Kyrie Irving’s vaccine refusal and absence to James Harden’s trade demand to Ben Simmons’ physical and mental woes, it was a wild ride that eventually went off the rails.