The Philadelphia 76ers took its first winning in the in the playoffs semifinals after beating the favorites Boston Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia on Monday night.
The Celtics are still leading the series for 3-1 and will need to win in Boston on Wednesday night to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second year in a row.
The 76ers' were led by Dario Saric, who scored 25 points, dished out four assists, and grabbed eight rebounds. Ben Simmons and T.J McConnell both came out big as well as they both recorded 19 points, with McConnell recording five assists, and Simmons pulling down 13 rebounds.
Celtics' rookie small-forward Jayson Tatum led the with 20 points, four rebounds and assists. Besides him, Marcus Morris scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds, and two blocks.
Celtics start leading the scoreboard
Philadelphia started putting pressure on the Celtics’ defense. In the first five minutes of the game, the hosts began trying to strike. Nevertheless, they have shown some nervousness on the court. It started out slow with the game being tied at five wit 7:42 remaining in the opening frame.
However, after 50 seconds, the 76ers jumped out and led for 11-7. A lot of this happened because they started to deliver three-pointer balls. Center Joel Embiid netted the same number of points and assists, totalling five. Whilst J.J. Redick notched seven points. At the same time, Tatum and Jaylen Brown scored five points in the first period.
The problem had begun with the 76ers forcing careless turnovers, which accommodated the Celtics, as they took led 19-18. But Redick shone in the final 48 seconds, and after a great effort, drained a three-pointer, giving Philadelphia the lead 21-20. However, following that, Marcus Smart scored two points, giving Boston the led after the first period, 22-21.
76ers turn it up at the second quarter
Philadelphia played much better in the second than they did in the first quarter, but the defense had insisted shown a lack of focus, and at 8:14, Boston was leading of 31-27.
Fortunately, the Celtics' level of play decreased that saw the 76ers take advantage. At the 5:39 mark, Simmons had four points in the game, and after Saric got a fault, and lost one ball but could convert well another. It was crucial to Philadelphia start to play their best game so far.
McConnell, who had his best performance in the playoffs, Philadelphia only tied the game at 2:51 with Joel Embiid scoring to make it 38-all. Ten seconds after, Simmons drew a foul on Smart and drained two free-throws.
The game became more intense than it ever was, with a scuffle between Embiid and Terry Rozier III in the middle of the court. Nevertheless, it didn't disturb Embiid as he drained a three-pointer. However, Rozier answered back with a three of his own. Marco Belinelli drew a foul on Brown and scored two more free-throws.
Philadelphia takes its first winning in the Series
Philadelphia returned after halftime showing great pace and force the attack, better than they did in the past twice periods. Because of that, they led by seven points in first five minutes of the third quarter. Boston was struggling to reduce their deficit, as the 76ers continued their dominant play.
At the 6:16 mark, the 76ers put up 15 points in the quarter, whilst the Celtics scored 11. The quarter showed more intensity and confidence from the 76ers as they played their best, and with 1:56 remaining, they led by 14 points.
Saric took the responsibility and was the main man, notching 16 points, followed by Embiid who grabbed 10 rebounds and T.J McConnell facilitating the offense, recording five assists. On the other side, Tatum was leading the team with 15 points. The third period finished 76-65 for the Philadelphia.
In the final period, 76ers changed their game, but continuing to do what they did in the first quarter, attack, improve their defensive rebounds as well. But they were able to withstand any fight from the Celtics in the last quarter. With the Celtics down 10 points for the majority of the quarter, it helped the 76ers hold them off and win the game 103-92.
The Celtics will face the 76ers in their next game on Wednesday at the TD Garden. They look to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals with a win as they lead 3-1.