It wasn’t easy. Hell, it’s never easy with this team. But the Celtics found a way to close out the 76ers with a frenetic 114-112 victory at the Garden.
I’m not even sure where to begin. The oxygen is finally making its way back to my brain.
Marcus Smart (14 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals) was phenomenal in the final minute. I dare you to find me another player who can pull off this sequence:
- Offensive rebound/tip-in ties the game at 109
- Defense on Saric forces turnover
- Assists on Tatum go-ahead basket, 111-109
- Makes a FT he tried to miss
- Intercepts Philly’s final heave
I took a lot of satisfaction in watching Joel Embiid blow a bunny and lose the ball out of bounds on a potential game-tying possession with 10 seconds remaining. Sure, Aron Baynes (13 points, 9 rebounds) roughed him up but franchise cornerstone centers need to make that basket.
Jaylen Brown (24 points, 10-13 FG) and Jayson Tatum (25 points, 8-15 FG) were spectacular. Brown was silky smooth and seemed to make big buckets whenever his teammates needed it.
Al Horford (15 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals) was a little quiet offensively but erupted for 6 massive points in the 4th quarter, including one monstrous finish on a Tatum alley-oop.
The 76ers have so much talent and will be a force in the East for years to come. But like the 1980s, they’re going to play second fiddle to the Celtics.
Enough with the Philly hate. BRING ON LEBRON!!!