Philadelphia at Boston
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Can Celtics Advance?
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics are one victory away from reaching the Eastern Conference finals for the second straight season when they host the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. Philadelphia remained alive in the semifinal series by winning Game 4 and Boston now looks for the clinching win that will set up a rematch against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Celtics were outplayed by the 76ers in Monday’s 103-92 loss but the postgame mood wasn’t overly somber. “It’s 3-1, we get a chance to go back to Boston,” forward Marcus Morris told reporters. “Nobody’s head is down. We’re all motivated. We’re happy. It would’ve been better to end it (Monday), but so be it. We go back to Boston and play.” The 76ers are still maintaining hope that they can become the first team to rally from a 3-0 deficit and win a playoff series. “This thing can be done,” Philadelphia forward Robert Covington told reporters. “We’ve done it before as far as finishing the season strong so why can’t we do this? We’re playing against history, but we’ve played against history before so why can’t we do something great?”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE 76ERS: Pesky point guard T.J. McConnell will draw his second straight start after posting 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 39 minutes in Game 4. McConnell started just one game during the regular season but he provided a tone for Monday’s win by making 9-of-12 from the field and not committing any turnovers. “He changed everything,” 76ers center Joel Embiid told reporters. “He was pressing full court the whole time doing his job, running the offense, getting guys involved, making shots, layups.”
ABOUT THE CELTICS: Postseason hero Terry Rozier will be aiming to bounce back from his first subpar game of the series as he had just two assists and scored only 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting in Game 4. Rozier averaged 22.3 points over the first three games of the series and has scored 20 or more points on five occasions during the postseason. “I feel like we just have to come out, be aggressive and try to make them quit,” Rozier told reporters in reference to Game 5. “Other than that, the coaches have the game plan for us. We just follow it.”
1. Celtics SF Jayson Tatum is averaging 23.3 points in the series and has extended his rookie franchise postseason record of consecutive 20-point games to six.
2. Philadelphia F Dario Saric scored 25 points in Game 4 after averaging 12.3 points over the first three games.
3. Boston reserve G Shane Larkin (shoulder) is questionable after being injured in Game 4.