On May 3, the Boston Celtics produced a convincing win over the Philadelphia 76ers to tie up their second-round playoff series 1-1.
With Joel Embiid back in the rotation, the Sixers struggled to play at the pace which generated so much success in game one, allowing Boston to take control of the game in the second half and pull away for a 34-point victory.
When speaking to the media after the game, Embiid detailed how the Celtics dominated his team, noting how they played with more desperation than the Sixers.
“I just thought tonight, they made a lot of shots,” Embiid said. “14 more three’s than us. They beat us to every loose ball. And they played with more desperation than us. We didn’t execute what we wanted to, and we gotta be better. But, we knew they were going to try to respond after us winning the first game; we just wasn’t ready.”
Embiid saw the floor for 26 minutes of playing time, contributing 15 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 blocks while shooting 44.4% from the field and 87.5% from the free-throw line.
Jaylen Brown Believes Embiid Looked Good
During his own post-game press conference, Celtics All-Star wing Jaylen Brown was asked about the difference Embiid made to the Sixers rotation and whether he thought the dominant big man looked healthy following his return from an LCL sprain.
“I think they were themselves,” Brown said. “I think they came out [and] gave us a good punch in the first and second quarter. Embiid, despite him having some knee issues, he still had four or five blocked shots so he looked good to me.”
Brown was offensively dominant for the Celtics during their victory, relentlessly attacking the rim and knocking down his perimeter attempts at a reliable clip. In 30 minutes of game time, Brown amassed a statline of 25 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals while converting 52.9% of his field goal attempts, 50% of his perimeter looks, and all four of his shots at the free-throw line.
Fortunately for Celtics fans, Brown was able to step up and take control of a game where fellow star Jayson Tatum struggled to make an impact after getting into foul trouble early in the contest.
Al Horford Praises Jaylen Brown’s Performance
When speaking to Brian Scalabrine on NBC Sports Boston’s post-game show, veteran big man Al Horford was full of praise for the performance of Jaylen Brown, sharing that it was one of the best games he’s seen the All-Star play.
“He took the challenge,” Horford said. “He really led us. His energy, he just set the tone. Honestly, it’s a good of a game that I’ve ever seen him play. He was so locked in. He was so poised. On the defensive end, his presence. And then on offense, just being solid and continuing to make plays. He was the difference maker for us.”
With the series between Boston and Philadelphia tied at 1-1, both teams will be looking to pull ahead and gain some momentum in the coming games, with game three scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 7, at the Wells Fargo Arena in front of what we can expect to be a raucous Sixers crowd.