The MVP returning to the Sixers lineup proves to be no problem for the Boston Celtics as they stomped a mudhole in Philly and walked it dry 121-87 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series.
James Harden, the hero of Game 1 for the Sixers was held to just 2-14 from the floor. The returning and newly crowned MVP Joel Embiid scored 15 points, 3 rebounds and 5 blocks in his 26:37 of action, on 4/9 from the floor.
Jayson Tatum played like diet poo, scoring a mere 7 points on 1/7 shooting, to go along with 7 rebounds and 3 assists in 19 minutes. Luckily for Boston, several other players stepped in to pick up the slack. Jaylen Brown led 5 Celtics in double figures with 25 on an efficient 9/17 from the field, Derrick White and Marcus Smart put in 15 points apiece Off the Bostonnbnch, Malcolm Brogdon and Grant Williams scored 23 and 12 points, respectively.
The Sixers led briefly in the game’s early stages before Boston took an 8-7 lead on Tatum’s free throws and Boston would not relinquish that advantage for the balance of the contest, taking a 28-22 lead after the first quarter and 57-49 heading into halftime.
The Sixers showed signs of a pulse in the third quarter, building as much as a 29-point lead in the frame, and turning the fourth quarter into extensive garbage time.
With the series tied at 1-1, heading to Philadelphia, the questions are will the Sixers be able to pick themselves off the mat and will a the “friendly home confines spark a return to MVP form for Joel Embiid, or will the Celtics be able to reclaim home-court advantage?
We will start to get answers to those questions Friday evening.