Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Celtics book ticket to East Finals

Celtics book ticket to East Finals

Game 1 is Sunday in Boston. With less than 30 seconds left in overtime, Joel Embiid missed a jumper and Simmons rebounded the ball with 18 seconds left on the clock.

Smart was fouled on the ensuing inbound, and missed his first freebie. Rather than milk the time, Simmons tried a putback, missed, and Boston's Marcus Morris grabbed the rebound.

Marcus Smart's assessment of the team's mindset heading into Game 5 was more blunt on Monday: "We're pitbulls". Ben Simmons posted 18 points, eight boards and six assists.

On a hot and cold night, Celtics youth rose to the top again - Tatum with 25 points and Brown with a 24-point performance on 10-for-13 shooting, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range. The athletic Brown scored 24 points in 31 minutes.

The game started as a back-and-forth affair with 17 lead changes and seven ties in the first half.

Embiid (12 points), Saric (10), and Simmons (10) all scored in double digits in the first quarter, while McConnell had nine points.

In the beginning of the season I think everybody had this eastern finals matchup pegged down but as the season went on, many people began to believe that neither one of these teams would make it.

The Sixers hope to ride the momentum of Game 4 behind point guard T.J. McConnell who was inserted into the starting lineup by Sixers head coach Brett Brown.

Though, after the Celtics went up by four points, JJ Redick answered with an incredibly clutch three-pointer to pull the Sixers to within one point.

Boston held a plus-3 advantage in points on turnovers through the first three games of the series.

The Celtics continued to extend their lead in the third quarter getting up by as many as 12 points. While Rozier has been inconsistent during the regular season, the playoffs have allowed the team to see how valuable he really is.

The Celtics, trailing by four points with 1:37 left, outscored Philadelphia the rest of the way by a 9-3 margin. Rozier went coast-to-coast and finished with a nice finger roll to put Boston up 100-94 with 5:27 left. Philadelphia is one loss away from becoming No. 131. Saric beat Smart on a nice up-and-over to push Philadelphia's lead to 109-105. Horford was his veteran self with 15 points and eight rebounds. With a healthy roster next season, the Celtics are in position to be contenders once again, and take over the East, all depending on James' upcoming decision.

Philadelphia will win Game 4 to avoid the sweep and also cover the spread in the process to stay alive in the series.

"They were an outstanding offensive rebounding team coming into the series", Stevens said. "I don't take these situations for granted". The series is at 3-1 in favor of the reigning NBA Champions, but, the Pelicans have been playing some excellent basketball and could pose a problem for Steve Kerr and Co.in Game 5.

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