76ers clinch dramatic 119-115 win over the Celtics in Game 1, despite being without Joel Embiid
No Embiid, no problem! The 76ers pull off a dramatic 119-115 win over the Celtics in Game 1 despite not having a star forward after Malcolm Brogdon bizarrely passes directly to Tyrese Maxey to give Philadelphia a late lead
- James Harden had a playoff career-high 45 points in the surprise win
- Jaylen Brown honored Celtics legend Bill Russell by wearing custom sneakers
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James Harden tied his playoff career high with 45 points and hit a go-ahead, step-back 3-pointer over Al Horford with 8.7 seconds left as the Philadelphia 76ers without Joel Embiid rallied to beat the Boston Celtics 119 -115 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal game on Monday night.
Tyrese Maxey added 26 points and Tobias Harris finished with 18 for the Sixers, who made 17 3-pointers in the absence of MVP finalist Embiid, who sat out with the sprained right knee he suffered in Game 3 of Philadelphia’s first round. against the Brooklyn Nets.
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 39 points and 11 rebounds. Jaylen Brown added 23 points and Malcolm Brogdon finished with 20.
Boston hosts Game 2 on Wednesday night.
The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the European Championship semifinals
Philadelphia 76ers James Harden scored 45 points to take his team to a surprise win
The 76ers were without MVP favorite and center Joel Embiid due to a troublesome knee injury
Harden previously scored 45 points for the Houston Rockets in a Western Conference Finals victory over Golden State on May 25, 2015.
Trailing 117-115, the Celtics got one last chance and got the ball to Tatum, but he lost the ball to Paul Reed, who fouled and hit a pair of free throws.
The game was tied at 87-all going into the back-and-forth final period.
Tatum gave the Celtics their final lead, 115–114, on a pair of free throws with 26.1 seconds remaining.
Before that, Boston took down the shot clock before Maxey intercepted a pass from Brogdon and drove in for a layup to put the 76ers back in front, 114-113.
Boston was leading 108-107 when Harden was called for an offensive foul on Horford. On the ensuing possession, Horford found Marcus Smart, who was fouled on a layup. He completed the three-point game to make it 111-107.
Maxey responded with a three-point play of his own.
The game was tied at 102 when Brogdon got free on a quick break, took a pass from Tatum and fell into a layup with 5:04 to go.
After the play, PJ Tucker appeared to wave wildly in frustration and made contact with Tatum. It led to a short scrum that was broken up by officials.
Reed took Embiid’s place in the starting lineup, as he did with Embiid out for the final game of the Nets series. As expected, Embiid’s absence in the middle contributed to a faster pace.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) led his team with an astonishing 39 points in a loss
Celtics guard Jaylen Brown had 23 points in a solid effort in the surprise loss to the 76ers
Brown wore shoes honoring Celtics and Hall of Fame center Bill Russell in the first half
Both teams used it to their advantage.
The Celtics attacked the paint and made 13 of their first 14 shots.
The 76ers made eight of their first 10 attempts, dividing the floor well and scattering Boston’s defense.
Harden led the offense early for Philadelphia, hitting his first five tries, including two 3s. Brown started 6 for 6 from the field for a Boston team that thrived without Embiid protecting the rim, going on an 11–0 run at one point.
Boston shot 74% before the half, but only took a 66-63 halftime lead after the 76ers went 11 for 19 (55%) from the 3-point line.