Celtics rally past 76ers for 2-0 series lead

Celtics rally past 76ers for 2-0 series lead

BOSTON - Reuters
Celtics rally past 76ers for 2-0 series lead

Terry Rozier had 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds to help host Boston erase a 22-point deficit en route to 108-103 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on May 3 night, giving the Celtics a 2-0 lead in an Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Jayson Tatum had 21 points, Marcus Smart added 19 and both Al Horford and Jaylen Brown scored 13 for Boston, which also claimed a 117-101 victory on Monday in the opener of the best-of-seven series. Horford grabbed 12 rebounds.

JJ Redick led Philadelphia with 23 points, making five 3-pointers. Robert Covington finished with 22 points and nine rebounds while Joel Embiid totaled 20 points and 14 rebounds for the 76ers. Game 3 is Saturday in Philadelphia.

Brown played after being upgraded from doubtful to probable before tip-off. He missed the Celtics’ Game 1 win because of a strained right hamstring that he sustained in Game 7 of the previous series against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Brown lauded the Boston crowd: “Man, I’ve never seen TD Garden like it was tonight. I think I’ll remember that game forever. The way the crowd got behind us before the half. That last five minutes, man. The energy was insane. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. Like that was the moment to definitely remember. Game 2, Philadelphia, 2018. For sure.”

The Celtics shut down 76ers rookie star Ben Simmons, who scored one point on 0-for-4 shooting from the floor. Simmons had seven assists and five rebounds but committed five turnovers.

Asked what the Celtics did to slow him, Simmons said, “I think it was really what I did to myself. I think mentally, I was thinking too much, overthinking the plays. I was not out there flowing, playing the way I play, which is free. Obviously, they have a game plan, and I think I know what that game plan is. But I just gotta play my game.”

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