Recap: Celtics Storm Back to Stun the Sixers

This team JUST. WONT. QUIT. After falling behind by as many as 22 points, your Boston Celtics stormed all the way back to steal the second game of the series and head into Philly with a 2-0 lead.

Jaylen Brown’s ailing hamstring forced him to come off of the bench for the first time all season and he finished with just 13 points; but Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 21 points while making half of his shots, Al Horford registered yet another double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, and guys like Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart simply did it all. The Celtics won by a final score of 108-103.

The Game Flow

Believe it or not, but Marcus Smart was the stand-out offensive player for the Celtics in the first quarter. The Sixers- no, scratch that- JJ Redick went on an 8-0 run to begin the game, and the Celtics didn’t find an answer until Smart (of all people) made his first attempt from deep. Smart added another one from downtown and a couple of free throw’s later he had 8 points while leading the Celtics in the category after a quarter.

Jaylen Brown came off of the bench with about 7 minutes to remain in the first quarter and he almost immediately went full heat-check. Maybe it was to see how his hamstring was feeling? Regardless, he received the pass and found a little daylight to attempt one from deep only to have it clang off the back of the rim. The good news was that he looked more like himself just a minute later after he finished with a dunk in transition, and would later dive for a ball that dribbled off of Dario Saric’ heel.

Unfortunately, the grit and hustle Jaylen Brown displayed didn’t correlate to Boston’s rebounding. The Celtics were hammered during the first quarter, 18-10, including giving up 7 OREB that led to 6 second chance points early. In addition to getting beat on the glass, the Sixers rode Redick’s hot hand (13 points after Q1) and brought a 31-22 lead over the Celtics into the second.

It didn’t look like things would improve for the Celtics after McConnell stole their inbound pass to begin the quarter, and Joel Embiid soon transformed into full bully-mode on the boards. In fact, things got worse for Boston before they got better. A lot worse. The Sixers stretched their lead to 22 points thanks to a 14-2 run jumpstarted by Covington’s re-emerging 3-point ability, and the Celtics were forced to rely on Marcus Smart’s unusual prowess from deep tonight to dig them out once again.

The Celtics had strung together a few stops in a row when Jaylen Brown joined the party and drilled a three of his own. Now it was official – the TD Garden had become a jungle. While the Sixers found success with Covington and Embiid, the story of the quarter (and eventually the game) was how rumored-COY (GTFOH) candidate, Brett Brown, refused to take a timeout during the Celtics 18-3 run that brought them all the way back to within 4 at the half. Their run was topped off with an alley-oop to Jaylen Brown in transition to make it 56-51 as the teams re-entered the locker rooms for half.

Marcus Smart picked up right where he left off in the first half and made yet another 3PA to begin the third quarter (after starting the game perfect, he’d finish 4/10 from deep for 18 points and a full stat sheet). The Celtics finally tied the game but the fans were quickly silenced when JJ Redick awoke from his second quarter slumber to remind us how much we hate him. His 3 stole the lead back for the Sixers only briefly, however, as we had our secret sniper, Aron Baynes, sink another to give the Celtics their first lead of the game and a one point advantage.

The Celtics were feeling it now, and Terry Rozier was in another assist-zone. He had a pretty dish to Jaylen in the corner to stretch the Celtics lead to 6 points with just under four minutes to go in the quarter and the Celtics were sent into the fourth leading 79-75 knowing that Scary Terry was ready to takeover. He’d ultimately finish with a near-triple-double by scoring 20 points, nabbing 9 dimes, and 7 boards; but, perhaps even more impressively, Terry finished the game without a turnover once again.

This game was far from over at this point, though. The Sixers went on an 11-3 run to start the 4th thanks in large part to Robert Covington’s bounce back game from behind the arc (he finished with 22 points on 4/7 shooting from three) and TJ McConnell’s all-around hustle (8pts with 5 assists and 2 steals while being a persistent pest on defense). But these Celtics didn’t waste all that energy coming back for nothing. Boston sustained the Sixers runs during the fourth and relied on their precision shooting to bail them out once again. Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris made the most noise down the stretch as each banged home a timely deep ball to propel the Celtics toward their second win of the series. Appropriately enough, Al Horford put this one away by shaking Embiid and slamming it home to give Boston a 5 point lead with under 10 seconds remaining. Boston went on to win, 108-103.


Jayson Tatum was ready to step up tonight – further proof that he’s no true rookie. (Just kidding he obviously is.) Jayson didn’t only lead his team in points, but he did so while shooting 50% from both downtown (2/4), as well as the field overall (7/14). Ben Simmons, on the other hand, finished with 1 point in over thirty minutes of game time. This is not a joke.

Scary Terry came with the euro-step a few times tonight.

Al Horford with the purrrrty finish. He’s turned into full beast mode during these playoffs and I’m loving every second of it.

Jayson Tatum is SPECIAL.

Mookie stepped up with timely makes when the Celtics needed it the most tonight.

Box Score


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