Celtics beat 76ers 114-112 in Game 5, advance to face Cavs

Kristopher Nichols
May 13, 2018

The Sixers lived in the paint for the second straight game.

Philadelphia outscored Boston by 18 points in McConnell's 39 minutes of action, giving the gritty point guard a team-best plus-38 plus-minus in this series. Instead of the thoughts of a sweep that surrounded Game 4, the Celtics would be thinking of their place in history as the first team in National Basketball Association history to blow a lead of 3-0. Some rather extreme folks have said he needs to be fired. Coach Brett Brown made some bench blunders - and the Sixers players missed more than their fair share of shots while also committing extremely costly turnovers at the worst possible times.

To the surprise of no one in a Celtics uniform, it was Smart. That's not an indictment on Brown (or even Colangelo), just an honest evaluation of where the roster stands and what Brown has to work with.

Defensively, the Sixers have struggled to contain Boston's athleticism on the perimeter. Wednesday's over/under is 203.5 after the Celtics held the 76ers to an average of just 99 points over four games.

As you'd expect, Joel Embiid was at the heart of it as he first got into a scuffle with Terry Rozier. However, it'll be easier said than done.

Believe it or not, despite being down 3-0, the Sixers are very much alive and the expectation here is that they are very capable of making history. That came after the Sixers produced the most regular-season wins since going 56-26 during the 2000-01 campaign. "He feeds off the energy, so for somebody to frustrate him and get under his skin, he goes harder when he gets to the rim", said Simmons.

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Belinelli and Covington haven't been hitting shots, but they've been important parts of the Sixers' offense this season.

Apparently, all it took for oddsmakers to decide that the Philadelphia 76ers are deserving of being favored on the road in a closeout game against the Boston Celtics was one victory.

"Obviously, it is a pretty special and the most unforgettable moment in the game series", McConnell said. He was afraid to shoot in Game 2-he took just four field goals and scored one point-and made key mental errors that cost Philly Game 3. T.J. McConnell fouled Marcus Smart, who had been 7 for 11 at the line. That speaks to the limitations of this current group more than anything else. The Sixers are due for a complete team performance, but winning in Boston is a tall order these days. However, Philadelphia trimmed the Eastern Conference semifinals series and deficit to 3-1 with Monday's 103-92 triumph at Wells Fargo Center.

Brown has had the unenviable task of trying to counteract the Celtics' well-executed game plan.

While the Celtics weren't able to bust out the brooms, they should still be feeling confident heading back to Boston.

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