Celtics nip 76ers after Joel Embiid 70-footer comes too late
PHILADELPHIA — Jayson Tatum buried the 3-pointer that put Boston forward with 1.3 seconds left and casually backpedaled on protection earlier than he turned to greet his teammates and — woosh! — a 70-foot shot sailed over his head and into the basket.
Joel Embiid shook his head no. The 76ers’ All-Star heart knew his tying, desperation heave was only a tick too late.
Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla wanted a re-evaluation to know the Celtics had been within the clear and he wasn’t constructive till “they confirmed it on the Jumbotron.”
Time to have a good time.
Tatum hit the profitable 3 that capped Boston’s comeback from 15 factors down within the third quarter and he completed with 18 factors, 13 rebounds and 6 assists to assist the Celtics maintain on for a 110-107 win in opposition to Philadelphia on Saturday night time.
“I dream about taking these pictures,” Tatum stated. “The worst factor that may occur is you miss.”
He didn’t miss.
Jaylen Brown scored 26 factors, Derrick White added 18 and Al Horford hit 5 game-changing 3s for 15 factors.
“Our guys have been there,” Mazzulla stated. “They’ve been by means of all of it.”
Embiid completed with 41 factors and 12 rebounds. He additionally made 17 of 18 free throws. James Harden scored 21 factors and Tobias Harris had 19.
The late-game thriller proved worthy of a showdown between two of the highest groups within the East.
Boston, although, proved it’s nonetheless the group to beat.
The Sixers dug deep trailing by 5 with 3 minutes left. With booming “MVP! MVP!” chants filling the sector, Embiid hit two free throws and adopted with a jumper that pulled the Sixers inside one. Embiid then blocked Brown’s layup and Tyrese Maxey went the opposite means for a go-ahead driving layup that despatched one other packed home right into a frenzy.
Horford, as soon as thought of a key cog within the 76ers’ chase for a championship, as a substitute hit the clutch 3-pointer inside Wells Fargo Heart that the town craved from him in 2019-20. He put the Celtics forward by two factors and a bucket by Tatum made it 107-103.
Harden and Embiid made 4 straight free throws that tied the sport and put each fan — there was a smattering of inexperienced within the stands — on edge.
Tatum, although, calmly hit a 3 to place Boston forward. Embiid then heaved one from contained in the opposing 3-point line and it fell by means of the basket — simply after the horn.
“I sort of had a sense it wasn’t going to rely,” Tatum stated. “Nevertheless it’s the NBA, proper? Something can occur.”
Simply not on this night time for the Sixers.
“Sadly, story of my life,” Embiid stated.
Tatum celebrated by giving his game-worn jersey to Philadelphia Eagles star large receiver — and famous Celtics fan — DeVonta Smith.
The 76ers had one other packed home and followers had been hyped from pregame warmups for a recreation with a definitive playoff really feel. Each groups got here out firing — they every hit 4 3s and shot not less than 50% within the first quarter. The scoring swings had been so one-sided for a stretch that the Celtics went on a 20-4 run and solely led 39-32.
The Sixers entered this one with one thing to show after a depressing effort in a 106-99 loss earlier this month in Boston. The reigning Jap Convention champion Celtics stay the category of the convention. The Sixers are nonetheless out to point out underneath coach Doc Rivers they’re greater than a 50-win, second-round exit group. They’re going to wish Embiid to cleared the path. After a troublesome taking pictures night time in opposition to Memphis on Thursday, Embiid had a recreation worthy of the “MVP! MVP!” chants that serenaded him with every journey to the free-throw line.
He bullied his means down the lane for giant buckets. Embiid’s three-point play late within the fourth stretched the result in 11 and he had an help on De’Anthony Melton’s 3-pointer on the subsequent possession.
Horford made three straight 3s to deliver Boston again into the sport. Horford’s fourth 3 of the quarter keyed an 18-3 run and helped the Celtics lead 80-78 by means of three.
“It’s not further motivation,” Horford stated of his return. “It’s simply enjoyable. These are the video games you need to be part of.”