Jayson Tatum scored 27 factors, Jaylen Brown had 23 and the Boston Celtics spoiled Joel Embiid’s MVP coronation, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 114-102 Friday night time to take a 2-1 lead within the Eastern Conference semifinal collection.
Game 4 is Sunday in Philadelphia.
Embiid had 30 factors and 13 rebounds in his second sport again from a sprained proper knee after receiving his MVP trophy in a pregame ceremony.
Boston gave 76ers followers little motive to cheer once more.
The Sixers pulled inside 5 on De’Anthony Melton’s 3-pointer to get the gang again into the sport for all of 20 seconds earlier than Malcolm Brogdon countered with a 3 to provide Boston a 100-92 lead. Al Horford crushed the Sixers once more — as he has most of his profession — when he buried a 3 for a seven-point lead.
Embiid, compelled to try to win it alone with none critical offensive helped, missed a pull-up 18-footer and Tatum drained a jumper that every one however put the sport away. Tatum hit another 3 for good measure and the Celtics seized management of the collection.
Embiid was flanked by his dad and mom and teammates as he obtained the MVP trophy from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver earlier than Game 3. Sixers followers roared as Embiid hoisted the trophy excessive over his head. Then the second turned touching. Embiid’s younger son, Arthur, ran onto the court docket and into the arms of his father.
Embiid held his son, who wore a “My dad is the MVP” T-shirt, and wiped tears from his eyes as followers chanted “MVP! MVP!”
“Honestly, he’s the primary motive why I’m actually right here,” Embiid stated. “Becoming a father actually modified my complete life. I simply wished to indicate him a superb instance.”
The good instances didn’t final lengthy.
Boston spiked any emotional carryover from the ceremony and raced to a fast 10-point lead.
The Sixers spent the remainder of the sport taking part in catch-up. All the power spent to return again and take temporary leads rapidly evaporated, and the Celtics snagged them proper again.
Embiid gamely tried to hold the Sixers on one good knee, however received virtually no assist from James Harden and Tyrese Maxey. Harden’s 45-point effort in a Game 1 upset in Boston appeared extra an aberration than an indication of issues to return. Harden adopted his 2 of 14 in a Game 2 loss with 3-for-13 taking pictures for 16 factors.
FORMER NBA EXECUTIVE LANCE BLANKS DEAD AT 56
Harden failed to select up the Sixers within the third, when he may have modified the sport.
He did hit P.J. Tucker for a 3 that pulled the Sixers to 74-72. Harden then missed two straight jumpers and fouled Brown on a tricky layup. Brown made the free throw and the Celtics have been again up by eight.
The odd factor for the 76ers was this, Harden additionally handed up loads of straightforward appears and layups. He additionally dedicated 5 turnovers.
Embiid had scored 53 factors towards the Celtics in an early-April matchup, however may by no means get cooking in Game 3. The Celtics double-teamed Embiid from the bounce, and he appeared gassed by the top of the third. Without a teammate he may belief to make pictures, Embiid took the scoring load on himself and scored 12 factors within the third when he performed your complete quarter.
Boston’s Grant Williams appeared to get kicked within the head by a falling Embiid late within the sport and had his mouth bloodied.
Celtics: Coach Joe Mazzulla was caught muttering “I’m the worst coach ever” at finish of a day-off video name. He stated earlier than Game 3 it was as a result of he forgot to acknowledge Marcus Smart in a workforce video session for profitable the NBA Hustle Award.
“We went by a whole movie session and I didn’t present my appreciation for him,” he stated. “I feel (the media) requested me about it and my eyes lit up. I used to be like, ‘What an fool.’ As I used to be signing off, I used to be identical to, ‘Damn,’ after which I texted him straight away.”
76ers: Made 12 of 12 free throws within the first quarter.
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