Celtics can’t overcome Embiid’s MVP efficiency, lose 103-101 to 76ers
Joel Embiid had his sport of the season, ending with 52 factors on 20-of-25 capturing, whereas additionally amassing 13 rebounds, 6 assists, and a pair of blocks. After a collection of boneheaded performs, Philadelphia nearly allowed the Celtics again within the sport within the ultimate seconds, however they escaped with a 103-101 win.
The Celtics solely shot 42 p.c from the sphere, and Jayson Tatum had a tough evening, ending with 19 factors on 7-of-20 capturing. That is his third straight sport in opposition to Philly the place he was held to beneath 20 factors. Derrick White was implausible, ending with 26 factors (15 within the 4th quarter), 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and a pair of blocks. In profitable this sport, the Sixers averted getting swept by the Celtics of their season collection. Boston was taking part in with out Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams.
The Sixers led 103-96 with 9.8 seconds remaining, however Tyrese Maxey inexplicably fouled Marcus Good as he drove to the ring and made a layup. Good then deliberately missed the free throw, acquired his personal rebound, and White splashed a 3 to make it 103-101. With 2 seconds left and the Sixers inbounding the ball, Embiid acquired referred to as for an offensive foul, and the Celtics had an opportunity to tie the sport, however Tatum’s last-second jumper fell quick. The Sixers ought to have been celebrating an iconic Embiid efficiency; as an alternative, they’re questioning what occurred on the finish.
Embiid dominated the first quarter, scoring 18 factors on an equivalent 6-of-7 capturing from the sphere and 6-of-7 from the free throw line, and the Sixers led 28-22 after one. The Celtics opened the sport a dismal 1-of-8, however Malcolm Brogdon scored 7 factors after he entered and proved to be a stabilizing drive. His three at 3:34 gave Boston a 19-18 lead, however Philly answered with a 10-0 run.
Within the 2nd, the Celtics took a 30-29 lead after Luke Kornet, who acquired a DNP-CD the final sport versus Philly, blocked this Jaylen McDaniels drive to provoke the fastbreak:
Main props to Derrick White for the nifty end, however he was simply getting began. Take a look at this unbelievable sequence, first hustling to discourage Paul Reed’s layup try, then getting a slick backdoor help on the opposite finish:
This clip must go within the Tommy Level Corridor of Fame. The Celtics reclaimed the lead whereas Embiid took his customary 2nd quarter relaxation, however when he returned on the 6:42 mark, he continued to bulldoze Boston’s entrance line. Harden was a wizard with the ball, scoring 10 factors within the quarter, and the Sixers led 53-46 at half.
The Celtics shot solely 41 p.c from the sphere and 26 p.c from three within the first half. Tatum went 5-of-12 for 12 factors, whereas Brogdon went 5-of-8 en path to a team-high 13 factors. Joel Embiid scored 24 factors on 69 p.c capturing whereas amassing 10 rebounds and three assists. All different Philly gamers shot a collective 35 p.c, so possibly Joe Mazzulla’s technique was to let Embiid get his whereas containing the supporting forged.
Evidently, Mazzulla wasn’t pleased with their first half protection, so he switched the protection. On Embiid’s first three touches of the second half, he would see a double group when he started his transfer, often from Good. It didn’t matter, as his 15-foot fadeaway on the 7:59 mark gave Philly a 60-52 lead. However Good responded by splashing a 3 then ending a slicing layup off an Al Horford help.
The remainder of the quarter was extra of the identical. Embiid performed all 12 minutes, scoring at will whereas additionally amassing some spectacular blocks on the rim. White’s floater at 1:12 reduce Philly’s result in 68-67, however Embiid responded with this epic posterization of Kornet:
He had 38 factors by three quarters in a sport that appeared just like the exclamation level on his 2022-2023 MVP marketing campaign. The Sixers led 72-67 going into the 4th quarter. Boston was capturing beneath 40 p.c and solely took 7 free throws, however the sport was nonetheless in attain.
Blake Griffin, getting his first minutes of the sport, dove on the ground to safe a unfastened ball offensive rebound on the 10:15 mark. The ball then swung to White, who drilled a 3 that tied the rating at 77. The following possession, White discovered Brogdon within the nook, and he hit a 3 that gave Boston its first lead of the second half.
PJ Tucker, quiet all evening, would hit three nook 3’s within the ultimate three minutes (say that 5 instances quick), and the Celtics couldn’t retake the lead regardless of some well timed photographs from Grant Williams (who additionally picked up a really premature technical foul) and Horford. Embiid would get his fiftieth level on a driving two-handed slam.
The Sixers led 103-96 with 9.8 seconds remaining—sport over, proper? Extremely, Good acquired an and-1 layup, missed the free throw on goal, then White drained a 3 and acquired fouled. It was an unbelievable sequence of occasions. The Celtics had an opportunity to make it a 102-103 sport with two seconds remaining.
However Doc Rivers challenged the foul, and the decision was overturned. All of the Sixers needed to do was inbound the ball. Sport over, proper?
As soon as once more, no. Unbelievably, Embiid acquired referred to as for a foul earlier than the ball was inbounded. Celtics ball with two seconds remaining. Tatum acquired the ball on the fitting baseline, however couldn’t convert the fadeaway jumper. The Sixers would win 103-101. The buzzer sounded, and there was no potential approach for them to increase the sport any additional.
The Celtics fall to 54-25 and have three common season video games remaining. They’ll subsequent host Toronto this Wednesday at 7:30 pm.