The Celtics were without Brown in Game 1, and he never looked fully healthy. The Celtics' offense has slowed down throughout the four games of the series against Philadelphia, averaging 119 points per 100 possessions in the first game of the series - but dropping to just 96 points per 100 in the Celtics Game Four defeat. Yet, he chucked it against the rim and it went in.
The final play had Simmons, with 2.4 seconds left, throwing a Hail Mary pass the full length of the court but it was intercepted by the Celtics. What a pleasant basketball surprise the Hoop Gods have sent to Celtics fans.
Brad Stevens inserted Brown into the starting lineup for Marcus Smart and it immediately paid off.
Boston punched their ticket to the Conference Finals with a thrilling 114-112 win over the Philadelphia 76ers to win their series in five games.
The Celtics eventually took a, 25-24, lead into the second behind 12 combined Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum points (6-7 FG). Tatum leads all scorers with 14 points, and is 6 for 7 from the field, while Rozier has 11, two rebounds and two assists.
Next up: LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Finals which Cleveland won in five relatively easy games. But on Wednesday night in Boston, in a win-or-go-home game, Redick, Belinelli, and Ilyasova were ineffective more often than not.
A ticket to the Celtics' second straight conference finals appearance simply contradicts so much of what this team has gone through this season.
"Me and Ben [Simmons] have a lot of room to grow", he told reporters after the game, per Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated. "Because none of the good ones are reachable".
The 'Sixers will need to step up their three-point shooting game, however, to climb back into the Eastern Conference semifinal series, shooting just 29.5 percent from behind the stripe through the first four games. "Like at the end of the game he [Simmons] came up to me, showed me his hands, and he was like 'there's going to be a lot of rings'". And then we're gonna get into practice tomorrow, talk about it. "Next year, that's our goal". Embiid lost the ball out of bounds as Saric fouled Rozier. If you send help, you risk surrendering open 3-pointers to guys like Love, Korver, Smith and Hill. "He's made for these moments".
Boston does not want to come back to Philly. But they won Game 4 and had a 107-103 lead with 2:01 left in Game 5.
You have to the give the Celtics PR staff a lot of credit, getting Drew Bledsoe a front row seat next to owner Wyc Grousbeck.
"I'm just learning", Simmons said. They'd get $3,993,173 if they reach The Finals and lose, $5,188,122 if they win the championship.
In another sign of disrespect, the NBA's Coach of the Year award was announced Wednesday.
Rozier made it 113-109 with his free throws but then a J.J. Reddick's three pointer got the 76ers back to one point with 3.8 seconds left.
For the time being, however, the Sixers will go back to the drawing board until next season and Embiid, who missed a close range shot that would have tied the game on Wednesday, is already looking forward to it.
Celtics: G Shane Larkin (left shoulder sprain) was unavailable after running into a hard pick in Game 4.
After one quarter, the C's held a one point lead, which quickly evaporated at the start of the second.
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