NBA Game 6 Preview: Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers

May 11, 2023

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Game: Boston Celtics @ Philadelphia 76ers

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Odds: Celtics -2.5, Sixers +2.5

Total: 212.5

The Philadelphia 76ers can advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2001. They just need one more win. The Sixers can close out their Eastern Conference semifinals series with the Boston Celtics tonight in Philadelphia. The 76ers took a 3-2 series lead with a 115-103 victory in Game 5 on Tuesday in Boston.

Joel Embiid led the way with 33 points despite nagging knee soreness, and Tyrese Maxey added 30 for Philadelphia. Since 2001, the Sixers have been unable to get past the semifinal round of the playoffs. The Sixers previously entered a Game 5 situation tied at 2-2 in 2019 when they suffered a 36-point loss to the Toronto Raptors, and last season they fell by 35 to the Miami Heat.

In their Game 5 win, the Sixers also received 17 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds from James Harden and an unexpected spark of 10 points and five rebounds from Danuel House Jr. in 15 minutes.

After blowing a 2-1 series lead, the Celtics now must find a way to come up with a massive victory to send the series back to Boston for Game 7 on Sunday. Jayson Tatum paced the Celtics with 36 points but shot 11-for-27 from the floor. Jaylen Brown added 24 for Boston. Al Horford missed all seven of his three-point attempts, and Boston’s defense struggled in the second half.

The Celtics can take encouragement from the fact that they won Game 6 on the road last season against the Milwaukee Bucks and then captured the series in seven games. Boston also has history on its side. The Celtics and Sixers have met in the postseason more than any other two teams. In 21 postseason matchups, Boston has won 14 times.

Boston is now 13-7 SU in its last 20 games. Defense is definitely a key for the Celtics. In their three losses in the series, the Celtics allowed 119, 116, and 115 points. In their two wins, Boston held Philly to 87 and 102 points.

Boston and Philadelphia were two of the better defensive teams in the NBA this season. As a result, they have faced some relatively low totals. Four of the five games thus far in the series have gone Over. Tonight’s total of 212.5 is the lowest of the series. Game 2 of the series, a 121-87 Boston win, is the only game that has gone Under for the Celtics in their last nine. Each of the Celtics last five road games has gone Over as well.

As mentioned the Over is 4-1 in this series and 6-4 in the last ten games between Boston and Philadelphia. In those ten games, the two teams have averaged 219.8 points per game.

The Sixers are 9-2 SU and 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall. They are also 6-2 SU in their last eight games played at home.

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