Philadelphia at Boston
Where: TD Garden, Boston
BOSTON – It will be a late “8:30pm” start for the Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers and the TD Garden crowd will be pumped-up, wired and well lubricated when they tip-ff tonight. The Celtics delivered the opening salvo and now the visiting Philadelphia 76ers look to even the Eastern Conference semifinal series on Thursday. Boston received another stunning postseason showing from guard Terry Rozier and knocked down 17 3-pointers in Monday’s 117-101 victory in the series opener.
The unsung Rozier emerged as a surprise standout in the first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks and he continued his solid play by making 7-of-9 3-pointers and scoring 29 points in the opener. Rozier, who also had eight rebounds and six assists, received quality help from forwards Jayson Tatum (28 points) and Al Horford (26 points on 10-of-12 shooting) as Boston scored 30 or more in each of the final three quarters. Philadelphia star big man Joel Embiid recorded 31 points and 13 rebounds in Game 1 but the squad was an abysmal 5-of-26 from 3-point range. “I thought this was one of our poorer defensive games,” 76ers coach Brett Brown told reporters. “I think, to look at this game, defensively, offensively, this isn’t who we are. This is a very poor game from us.”
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE 76ERS: Rookie point guard Ben Simmons had 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists in Game 1 but also committed seven turnovers and is well aware the team didn’t give its best effort. “Game 1, we were comfortable, we knew what they were going to throw at us, but we obviously just didn’t execute, and didn’t stick with it,” Simmons told reporters on Wednesday. “I think that’s where we lost most of the game at. We know exactly what we’re going to get into once we hit the floor.” Forwards Robert Covington (three points on 0-of-6 shooting) and Ersan Ilyasova (six points on 2-of-9 shooting) were among the 76ers who experienced subpart efforts.
ABOUT THE CELTICS: Shooting guard Jaylen Brown (hamstring) is listed as doubtful and coach Brad Stevens didn’t sound like someone who wants to push the situation when he met with reporters on Wednesday. “The bottom line is, with this hamstring injury, it’s not terrible,” Stevens said. “It’s not a long-term thing, it shouldn’t linger if he comes back at the right time. But you could make it worse if you don’t come back at the right time, if you have to guard JJ Redick and Marco Belinelli.” Brown suffered the injury during Game 7 of the series with the Bucks and was hoping to play in the opening game before the plan was nixed by team trainers.
1. Rozier is 12-of-17 from 3-point range over the past two games and is averaging 19 points in eight postseason games.
2. Redick scored 20 points in the opener to mark his third straight game of 20 or more points.
3. Boston PG Marcus Smart (thumb) is just 9-of-35 shooting in four games since returning to action.