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Celtics' Sweep Over Nets Was Historically Close

BOSTON (CBS) -- Typically, a four-game series sweep is a sign of dominance of one team over another. But not all sweeps are built the same.

Case in point: The Boston Celtics may have come away with a first-round sweep of the much-hyped Brooklyn Nets, and that may have been the lone sweep of the first round in the entire NBA. But that series victory was anything but a breeze.

The Celtics won Game 1 on Easter Sunday by a single point. In Game 2, they erased a 17-point deficit to win by seven points, their largest victory of the entire series. Boston won in Brooklyn in Game 3 by six points, before closing out the series with a four-point win on Monday night.

That total margin of victory added up to 18 points, or an average of 4.5 points per game. That's rather tight. Historically so, in fact.

As ESPN Stats & Info noted after the game, the Celtics' sweep over the Nets was the third-closest series sweep in NBA history. Only the 2017 Cavaliers and 1975 Warriors have won via sweep with a smaller margin of victory.

In the case of the Cavs, they beat the Pacers in the first round by a combined 16 points in the four-game sweep, while the '75 Warriors swept the Bullets out of the Finals by 16 combined points across the four games. (The 2017 Cavs swept the Raptors in the second round and beat the Celtics in five games in the conference finals but lost in five games to the Warriors in the NBA Finals.)

What the historically close sweep means for the Celtics going forward can't be known, but it's at least an indication that the Celtics had to be especially sharp to come away with this memorable series victory.


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