BOSTON — The Sixers didn’t make it past Sunday afternoon. They weren’t particularly friendly either.
The Celtics defeated the Sixers in Game 7 of Round 2 of the playoff series at TD Garden, winning 112-88. They will face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals for the second year in a row.
Again, the Sixers failed to advance beyond the second round of the playoffs. I haven’t done that since 2001.
Jayson Tatum leads the Sixers in Game 7 with 51 points, while Jaylen Brown adds 25.
Tobias Harris scored 19 and Tyrese Maxey scored 17.
Joel Embiid scored 15 points on 5-of-18 shooting. James Harden had 9 points, 7 assists and 5 turnovers on 3-of-11 shooting.
Here’s a look at the Sixers’ heavy loss in Game 7.
ideal tucker start
Both teams used the same starters as in Game 6.
Initially, it seemed Boston’s double-big lineup would soon replicate Thursday’s success. The Sixers started 6-6 from the floor, continued to miss open jumpers, and paid for several early defensive breakdowns. Tatum dunked on his first field goal attempt to avoid four consecutive nightmare starts on the offense and a goal from Robert Williams III put the Celtics ahead 8-2.
Thanks in large part to PJ Tucker, the Sixers have created a huge sensation. Tucker scored eight points in a 13-2 win over the Sixers with two corner 3s and a layup that came from a clever and surprising cut late in the shot clock. In Game 6, the Celtics made it clear that Williams was focused on being in the paint and wasn’t too worried about Tucker making threes. The 38-year-old forward needed to be determined, confident and productive early on in his approach. he got his job done.
Tucker finished the first quarter with 11 points, the second-most points scored in any regular-season game.
Tatum is the brightest
The Sixers beat the Celtics by three points in the first stint without Embiid.
Deanthony Melton had a great late first quarter and early second quarter. He hit two shots, made a putback and a driving layup, and helped the Sixers transition on either side of the floor. The Sixers scored the first seven fastbreak points of the afternoon.
But as soon as the Sixers led 35-26, Boston responded with a 9-0 run. Neither of the Sixers’ stars did well during that period. Harden made 1-of-6 shooting from the floor, while Embiid made 3-of-11. Harden also scored a Fragrant 1 foul for punching Brown in the face with his right arm as the Sixers’ point guard stood up trying to attempt a driving layup. After that play, the match seemed to get messier and more intense overall. Tatum and Brown were also effective attackers. Tatum mixed very well on the drive, hitting spin moves and left-handed layups to lead Boston 42-39.
To close out the first half, the Sixers were determined to get Embiid’s touches on basically every possession. The MVP stepped up physically and had five foul shots late in the second quarter, but his judgment wasn’t always as sharp when double-teamed, and Al Horford played a sound-insulating defense. .
Tatum sank a step-back three after Embiid’s turnover. By the break, he had scored 25 points and the Celtics had a 3-point lead. At that stage, the four-time Boston All-Star Wing was arguably the most memorable player of the day. By the time the final buzzer sounded, an even bigger landslide occurred.
forever stuck on 58
Embiid recorded his only assist on the Sixers’ opening play of the third quarter by kicking the ball out to Harris for a catch-and-shoot three.
The Sixers’ offense deteriorated noticeably in the ensuing minutes. Embiid, playing in six straight games with a sprained right knee, frequently watched touches from the post and elbows closely, tried to read Boston’s defense and wait until his backers hit the ground running. . But it didn’t produce many great shots, and the Sixers’ overall pace dropped midway through the game.
Tatum continued to pull off both hard-fought and comfortable shots, including Embiid’s tough three-over and a pull-up triple against the Sixers’ zone. He deserves credit for sinking so many jumpers that the defense couldn’t stop.
Still, the Sixers’ efforts to salvage the situation and counter Boston’s third quarter surge were disastrous. While many decent looks didn’t fall, the team also improved their offensive structure and composure during the season-defining scoreless period that lasted from 8:02 to 1:39 in the third. lost. Harden committed a few turnovers but was unable to regain his offensive rhythm. After a possession that ended in a shot clock violation when Embiid only hit the backboard with a depth three, Embiid looked at Harden and shrugged his shoulders.
Like last year, when the Sixers played ugly in Game 6 and lost at home to the Heat, the team’s final game of the season was a disappointment for just about everyone involved. Losing Game 7 would have hurt, but Sunday’s fourth quarter was a completely uncompetitive game.
It’s still hard to know exactly what the offseason will look like, but none of the major issues ahead should be considered for the Sixers. Head coach Doc Rivers once again failed to lead his team past the second round. Harden has a 600,000 player option. Harris has now completed four seasons on a 5-year, 0 million deal. Embiid, who won MVP at age 29 and is already the best Sixers player in history, is yet to reach the conference finals.