Keys to the Game: Celtics 112, 76ers 88

Key Moment

Judging by the first half, Sunday’s Game 7 matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers appeared that it would be a back-and-forth bloodbath that would come down to the wire.

That was until the bloodbath became one-sided in the third quarter when the Celtics ran away with the game in front of their rowdy home crowd.

After heading into halftime hanging onto a 55-52 lead, the C's emerged from the break and tore open the contest with a 33-10 quarter. The game was tied at 55 early in the third before Boston erupted on a 28-3 run.

Tatum scored exactly half of his team’s points during that stretch, while the Sixers managed just one field-goal make over a 10-minute span.

The Celtics finished the third with an 11-of-19 shooting clip from the field, including 8-of-12 from 3-point range. Philly, meanwhile, shot just 3-of-21 from the field during the quarter.

The game was never in doubt after that point, as Boston went ahead by as many as 30 points before cruising to a 112-88 win and punching a ticket into their second consecutive Eastern Conference Finals.

Key Player

With his team’s season on the line, Jayson Tatum didn’t just show up for the Celtics. He showed up and put forth the best Game 7 effort in NBA history.

The All-NBA First Teamer poured in a Game-7 record 51 points on 17-of-28 shooting from the field, including 6-of-10 from long range.

Those 51 points were just three shy of John Havlicek’s franchise record for any playoff game and just the seventh 50-point game in Celtics postseason history. Tatum is now the only Celtic with multiple 50-point playoff games with two (three including play-in games).

On top of his scoring, Tatum logged game-highs of 13 rebounds, two steals, and a plus/minus of plus-33, along with a team-high five assists. And he did all of that without committing a single turnover.

Tatum picked the perfect time to have the game of his life and because of it, he helped to keep his team’s season alive.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jayson Tatum scored an NBA Game-7 record 51 points.
  • Jaylen Brown (25 points) was the game's only other 20-point scorer.
  • Joel Embiid and James Harden combined for just 24 points
  • Tatum also led the game in rebounds (13), steals (two), and plus/minus (+33).
  • The 76ers were held to just 14.3 percent shooting during the third quarter.
  • Tatum became the first player in NBA playoff history to score more than 50 points in a game without committing a turnover.
  • The 76ers blocked 7 shots in the 1st half and blocked 0 shots in the 2nd half.
  • Philly shot 18-of-19 from the free-throw line.
  • Al Horford stuffed the stat sheet with six points, 10 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and two steals.
  • Both benches scored 17 points apiece.
  • Malcolm Brogdon (12 points) was the only reserve to reach double-figures in scoring.

Quote of the Night

“I’m going to go home, have a glass of wine, and start watching film on Miami.”

– Joe Mazzulla on his post-Game 7 plans