Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Sixers-Celtics series starting to get a little testy

Sixers-Celtics series starting to get a little testy

Their chances were still rough without any timeouts and just 2.4 seconds on the clock, but they were able to dial up a long baseball-style pass from Ben Simmons...and then Smart picked it off to give Boston a 114-112 victory and a 4-1 series win. Game 1 is set for Sunday in Boston. The Trail Blazers had reached the conference finals in 1999 and 2000, famously blowing a large Game 7 lead against the Lakers in the fourth quarter in the latter. It will also be a battle of opposite styles as the up-tempo 76ers rank fourth in possessions per game, while the more methodical Celtics rank 23rd.

Celtics' Marcus Smart, $8,500: Smart gets plenty of minutes and he has been a defensive hound this series.

Dario Saric and Joel Embiid scored 27 points apiece. He scored 25 points in Philadelphia's game four win and this must be a point of emphasis.

"I wouldn't say a damn word if I was down 3-1", Morris said, "but, hey, we're all different".

But on Wednesday, the football player was there in person, meeting Rozier before the game and sitting courtside with Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck. Atypically, the Celtics attacked the rim more than they launched 3-pointers, and the result was a relatively efficient first-half. The lead changed two more times before the Celtics took a 61-52 lead into intermission.

In a testament to Brad Stevens' coaching acumen, the Celtics are back in the East finals despite just one overlapping starter (Al Horford) from last postseason to this playoff run.

The Sixers refused to go away quietly.

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Philadelphia 76ers T.J. McConnell is pumped after hitting a first quarter shot and getting fouled in the process, while the Celtics Marcus Smart (36, left) wonders what happened.

After Rozier inadvertently referred to Bledsoe as "Drew Bledsoe", the former New England Patriots quarterback, when speaking to the media, Bledsoe repeatedly insisted to reporters that he didn't know Rozier's name. "But we're going back to Boston and we'll play". They're still heavily limited players, though, struggling to put the ball on the floor and create outside the flow of the offense.

But a Tatum to Horford alley-oop electrified the TD Garden crowd and the Celtics, setting up the dramatic final minute. Also, Joel Embiid show try to score more points.

With the rise of the Celtics and the possibility of LeBron heading to a team like the 76ers, all parity may once again disappear from the Eastern Conference again.

Boston ranks 18th in blocks per game (4.6) while Philadelphia ranks 24th in blocks allowed per game (5.2).

"They were clearly the more physical team", Stevens said on Tuesday's conference call. "I don't take these situations for granted".

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