Team Loses Close Game 1 Battle

by Lauren Rosen

Snapshot:

It was a back-and-forth affair inside the bubble in Game 1 of the 76ers’ first round matchup with the Boston Celtics.

After 13 lead changes and seven ties, Boston came out on top, 109-101, thanks to a 34-22 fourth quarter performance. 

Despite a strong performance from Joel Embiid (26 pts, 16 reb), the Celtics’ young duo of Jayson Tatum (32 pts, 13 reb) and Jaylen Brown (29 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast) pushed Boston over the top.

The Sixers finished with a 10-point advantage in the paint, out-scoring the Celtics, 46-36. They out-rebounded Boston, 50-43, and shot at a higher clip (46.2% FG, Boston: 42.2% FG).

But the Sixers' 18 turnovers - particularly the 13 that came in the first half - proved costly.

Key Contributors:

  • Joel Embiid

    • Embiid finished with a 26-point, 16-rebound double-double, along with two steals and a block. The big man shot 8-for-15 from the field, and five of his boards came on the offensive glass.

    • Embiid’s first quarter was particularly strong. He hit his first five attempts, resulting in a game-high 11 first-quarter points.

  • Josh Richardson

    • Richardson recorded 18 points, six rebounds, and two assists. He had a particularly strong second quarter stretch (8 pts) that kept the Sixers within striking distance before the break, 55-49.

  • Tobias Harris

    • Harris neared triple-double territory, totaling 15 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, and a steal. 

  • Alec Burks

    • Burks led the bench once again, pouring in 18 points, along with rebounds, and two assists.

  • Shake Milton

    • Milton finished with 13 points and three assists, making five of his seven shots, including three 3-pointers.

X-Factor:

The pairing of Tatum and Brown was critical for the CelticsTatum led the first half with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Brown boasted a 15-point fourth quarter.

The duo combined for 61 points (19-37 fg) - a strong enough performance to offset Boston's lack of bench productivity.The Celtics’ reserve unit scored just eight points. Burks and Matisse Thybulle (5 pts, 4 reb, 2 stl) combined for the Sixers’ 23 bench points.

Quote to Note:

Joel Embiid says despite his impressive double-double, he can be even better:

“I’ve got to do more. Whatever the stats are, I’ve got to do more… I’m going to need my teammates to help me, but I’ve got to do more - take more shots, be more aggressive. We’ve all got to play hard, take care of the ball, do our job, and follow the gameplay.”

@Sixers Social:

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Up Next:

Game 2 tips Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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