After splitting the first two games at home, the Sixers swept the next three games, which coincided with big man Joel Embiid's return from a facial fracture.
The point guards duked it out both on the court and at the podium throughout the first-round series between the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, from which the former emerged victorious with a decisive 112-96 win Saturday at TD Garden.
Boston Celtics forward Al Horford will need to be aggressive against Philadelphia's frontcourt if the injury-riddled Celtics have any shot at winning. But the Boston Celtics are still the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, have home-court advantage and defeated arguably the best of the bottom four teams in the conference in the Milwaukee Bucks during the first round.
The total has gone over in nine of Boston's last 11 games. Brown tweaked his right hamstring in the second quarter of Saturday night's Game 7 victory over the Bucks, however, and didn't return.
Boston and Philadelphia have met 19 different times in the playoffs - the most by any two teams in postseason history (the Celtics have won 12 of those series). Tatum had 20 points, five assists and six rebounds.More news: Westworld's Second Episode Should Have Just Been the Premiere
Brett Brown discussed matching up against a Boston Celtics defense that just recently did a nice job controlling Giannis Antetokounmpo. Boston took an 87-75 lead into the fourth.
The 76ers are the best version of this team we have seen all year long, and looking to regular season success could be unsafe. Philadelphia picked Markelle Fultz; he did not play on Monday night. It remains to be seen just what the Celtics have left in the tank, especially with such a quick turnaround. In two postseasons with Boston, Horford is averaging 15.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
After Simmons made a layup to make it 97-88, Horford hit a 3 from the top of the key with 5:30 left and it was never within single digits again. Jaylen Brown led Boston with 21 while Philadelphia was led by Redick's 22.
Philly will not win many games when the other team's starters outplay Philly's, but that is what happened.
"I can't wait", Brown said to Sixers.com. "Because I grew up in New England and I'm not young". The five-day layoff since ousting the Heat should've really benefited the Sixers. Simmons grew frustrated near the end of the game when Shane Larkin wrapped him up under the basket. J.J. Redick led the Sixers in scoring at 20 points per game as Philly put up over 114 points per game in the opening round. They have been lead by their two rising young stars in Embiid, and the favorite to win the National Basketball Association rookie of the year, Ben Simmons. The "L-A" were in bold, a nod to the longtime rivalry with the Lakers.