Celtics erase 22-point deficit against 76ers


If Boston continues playing with the chemistry that they have been, they will compete to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. In their first round series with the Bucks, the home team prevailed in all seven contests.

The Sixers have collected 56 victories, the postseason included, and a few more would minimize any grudges held against them by those who did not find joy in records of 19-63, 18-64, 10-72 and 28-54. He managed to get easy points through dunks, free throws and transition play in the series opener, but in Game 2 the Celtics were successful in shutting down fast-break opportunities and staying with him every step of the way.

With some 10 seconds left and the shot clock almost spent, Al Horford found himself out by the free throw line with the imposing Joel Embiid between him and the hoop.

Simmons refused to give the Celtics' defensive schemes too much credit for his rough showing, instead pointing to his own mentality as a reason he struggled throughout the night. Boston came back with an 11-4 spurt of their own to retake the lead, 99-95, time down to 3:36.

The Celtics can throw several bodies at Simmons: feisty Marcus Morris, lengthy Jayson Tatum, and burly Semi Ojeleye. In addition to Tatum, veteran big man Al Horford shot 10-of-12 from the field, finishing the game with 26 points and seven rebounds.

"McConnell was ridiculous", Boston head coach Brad Stevens said admiringly.

The Sixers lost the game in that stretch.

Getting off to a strong start was undoubtedly a point of emphasis for the Boston Celtics heading into Tuesday's Game 2. The Celtics shot 49 percent from 3-point range, while holding Philly to 19 percent from beyond the arc. And why wasn't he calling timeouts to stop the Celtics' momentum when they turned the game around with a 20-5 run at the end of the first half?

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The Sixers' three-point shooting, while improved in Game Two, still isn't where it's been during the regular season.

Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons recorded just one point in 31 minutes of action in Boston last night, something he contributed to "overthinking". Simmons ended the game with a plus-minus of minus-23, while McConnell was a team-best plus-16. He's going to have to step up for the 76ers to get back in the series.

"It just so happens that it happened to [Simmons], and I expect him to respond back". Games were different against them.

"[Brown] just finished a workout with [assistant coach] Micah [Shrewsberry] and our strength trainers and I have not gotten a report on how it went".

Boston took control of the series with their rally in Game 2 but we saw this in the opening round. Yikes. We didn't love Simmons going into this one, but knowing that this is a possible outcome makes playing him simply terrifying.

76ers: Outrebounded the Celtics 49-41.

The guess here is that the Simmons 0-fer in Game 2 will translate to a resounding triple double in Game 3.

The over is 8-1 in the Celtics' last 9 games following a straight up win, 8-1 in their last 9 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game, 8-1 in their last 9 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game and 7-1 in their last 8 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. Instead, they will tip off at 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., respectively, conflicting with the early bird special.