Mark Bacon—Main Event Sports
The second round of the NBA Playoffs is officially in the books. The Boston Celtics eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers, winning Game 5, 114-112 to take the series, 4-1.
It was an incredible game. The majority of the first half was even, but the Celtics went on a run to close it out to take a nine-point lead into the break. And they got up by as much as 12 in the third quarter, before the Sixers came roaring back to get right back in the game by the end of the frame.
The entire fourth quarter was back and forth, and went down to the very last seconds, before Marcus Smart picked off a desperation pass by Ben Simmons to seal the two-point win for the Celtics. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 49 points to lead the Celtics, while Joel Embiid and Dario Saric combined for 54 to power the Sixers. The Celtics will now face the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals.
Both teams came ready to play in Game 5, which was closely contested for much of the first half. Neither team could gain much of an advantage, as the two sides traded baskets back and forth.
But the Celtics closed strongly, taking a nine-point lead into the break thanks to a buzzer-beating 3 by Terry Rozier.
The Celtics continued to extend their lead in the third quarter getting up by as many as 12 points. They clearly had the Sixers frustrated, as Joel Embiid picked up a technical foul for pushing Aron Baynes.
The entire fourth quarter was a nailbiter. The Sixers would get a few baskets, then the Celtics would battle back and take a lead of their own, and so on and so forth. It went down to the final seconds, as JJ Redick hit a 3 to cut the deficit to just one point. But the Celtics survived to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
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