Team Loses Close Game 1 Battle
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.
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.
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.
Harris neared triple-double territory, totaling 15 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, and a steal.
Burks led the bench once again, pouring in 18 points, along with rebounds, and two assists.
Milton finished with 13 points and three assists, making five of his seven shots, including three 3-pointers.
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.”
More of this.
Let the bully ball commence.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) August 17, 2020
Game 2 tips Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET.