The Celtics and the 76ers will play the pass to the Eastern final in the seventh game | Sports

Jayson Tatum wants to conquer the world this year. The Boston Celtics star was left frustrated after losing last year’s NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors. During the season he has performed at a high level and he even took it as a personal challenge to be the best in the all-star game. In a decisive game, this Thursday in Philadelphia, he suffered a blackout. During the first three quarters he failed almost everything he tried, but in the last one he became the owner of the game and with 16 points he gave his team the victory (86-95) against the 76ers. The semifinal will be decided in Boston in Game 7.

Those from Philadelphia have been looking to reach the conference final since 2001, when Allen Iverson and Dikembe Mutombo were the soul of the team. That year they won the East title in game seven against the Milwaukee Bucks and then lost in the NBA final against the Lakers of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. This Thursday they had their great opportunity at home, but they missed it in a last quarter in which they only scored 13 points.

Tatum was resurrected at the end of the match. After a series of 0 of 6 triples, he scored two consecutive at the key moment. His team was behind (83-81) and with those 6 points they went ahead 83-87 with less than 4 minutes to go. He had also scored the previous basket of 2 for his team. And he kept scoring. There was no turning back. At the end of the game, Tatum signed 19 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.

The 76ers were in tow from the start of the game. They started with a dismal 3-15 run and closing the first quarter trailing 22-29 was almost a relief at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Again the Celtics escaped in the second quarter, but the 76ers reacted and the break was reached with 43-50 in favor of Boston.

The first half was somewhat absurd. The three biggest superstars of the game (Jayson Tatum, Joel Embiid and James Harden) made just 6 of the 29 field goals they attempted. Particularly disastrous was the drive from Jayson Tatum, who missed all 10 shots he attempted. But Harden and Embiid, going 3-for-10 and 3-for-9, didn’t fare much better either.

The Celtics went into halftime with a 7-point lead thanks mainly to the success of Marcus Smart (6 of 8 from the field) and Malcolm Brogdon (5 of 6). And if the lead wasn’t bigger, it was because Tyrese Maxey kept the 76ers afloat with 15 points.

Defenses tighten when it comes to decisive games, but in the case of Embiid and Al Horford, the entire series has been a battle of maximum intensity. The Dominican of the Celtics contained Embiid throughout the first half, but the best player of the regular season was improving his tone and alternating short shots, interned and cleared with intelligence. At the end of the game he had 26 points and 10 rebounds. Maxey added another 26 points in a great performance.

The one who underperformed the entire game was James Harden, with 4 of 16 shooting from the field and only 13 points. In the three games in which he has failed so badly, his team has fallen. He was 2-for-14 and 3-for-14 in Game 2 and Game 3, respectively. Instead, he was the star in the first and fourth.

The locals did not take the lead until there were 4:37 minutes left in the third quarter and James Harden made two free throws for a 64-62). Boston replied with a triple on the next possession and from there the alternatives followed one another. The score remained very even in the remainder of the quarter and they reached the last quarter with 73-71 in electronics. The 76ers took over early in the fourth quarter. Until Tatum woke up. Neither Embiid nor Harden managed to reply.

In the other Eastern Conference tie, the Miami Heat host the Boston Celtics this Friday with a 3-2 lead in the series. It is the opportunity for Jimmy Butler’s team to score at home, although Jalen Brunson (who had a spectacular fifth game of the tie) and his team will try not to make it easy for them. Miami was already a finalist in the Eastern Conference in 2022, but this year it seemed ruled out before giving the big surprise and eliminating the Milwaukee Bucks.

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