Game: Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Odds: Celtics -7.5, Sixers +7.5
The Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers meet tonight in Boston with the Celtics looking to retake the lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series. With their 116-115 victory in overtime on Sunday in Philadelphia, the 76ers evened the series at 2-2. James Harden had a game-high 42 points and he made the game-winning three-pointer with 19.0 seconds left in overtime. It was also Harden who had sent the game to overtime by hitting a jump shot with 16.1 seconds left in regulation.
Despite trailing by five points after a Malcom Brogdon three-pointer with 2:04 left in regulation, third-seeded Philadelphia managed to win. Harden, who also had eight rebounds and nine assists, had shot a combined 5-for-28 from the field in Games 2 and 3. That came after scoring 45 in leading Philly to a Game 1 victory over the Celtics.
In 46 minutes, Joel Embiid finished Game 4 with 34 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists. Embiid sat out Game 1 with a sprained knee, but has played well since returning to the Sixers lineup. He is still on the Sixers’ injury report, listed as questionable for tonight.
In their loss on Sunday, Boston gave up 92 points in the first three quarters but held Philadelphia to just 15 in the fourth, when the 76ers shot just 31.6 percent from the field. That helped the Celtics, the No. 2 seed in the East, overcome a third-quarter deficit of 16 points.
The Celtics were led by Jayson Tatum, who scored 24 points, dished out six assists, had four blocks, and a playoff-high 18 rebounds. Tatum and Jaylen Brown were both limited to three field goal attempts in the fourth quarter. Brown ended up with 23 points.
Philadelphia will host Game 6 on Thursday, and Boston will host Game 7 on Sunday if necessary. In the Eastern Conference championship series, the winner will take on either the Miami Heat or the New York Knicks. The Heat took a 3-1 lead last night in their series with the Knicks.
Both teams have had their moments over their 10 to 15 games. The Sixers are 8-2 SU and 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall. They are 5-1 SU in road games too. Boston is 14-6 SU in its last 20 games and the Celtics have been outstanding at home. Boston is 10-2 SU in their last 12 games at the Garden.
Boston has really excelled at home against Philadelphia. In the last 20 meetings between the two teams at TD Garden, the Celtics have been victorious 15 times. Boston has had Philly’s number recently too, winning six of the last nine games. The Celtics have covered the spread in seven of those nine.
As good as both teams are defensively, three of the four games in this series have gone Over the total. The Celtics have actually seen the Over cash in seven of their last eight games.
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