Boston knocks out Philadelphia, joins Miami in Eastern Conference final

They did not shake, far from it, for the most important game of the season so far. Carried by the 51 record points of Jayson Tatum, unstoppable, the Boston Celtics overwhelmed, in their enclosure of the TD Garden, the Sixers (112-88), Sunday May 14, during the seventh and last act of their confrontation with the players of Philadelphia.

This success against the Cameroonian Joel Embiid, best player of the season (most valuable playerMVP) but off for the occasion, allows them to reach their third NBA Eastern Conference final in four years, where the Miami Heat awaits them, a duel that has become classic in recent seasons.

Miami, which dismissed New York a few days ago (4 wins to 2), had won the first game in Orlando’s anti-Covid bubble in 2020, before losing in the final to the Lakers. Last year, Boston took revenge, before in turn losing on the last step against Golden State. It is therefore a beautiful electric that awaits these two rival teams, Jimmy Butler and his family being warned, if necessary, of the mental resources which the C’s know how to show, like Tatum, in great difficulty during the three previous matches and who ended up finding the way.

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First in Philadelphia, in the previous meeting, where his 16 points (out of 19 in total) in the last quarter kept his team alive. Then on this final decisive game, during which he walked on water, surfing on a formidable address (17 out of 28) to set a new record for points scored in the NBA in a seventh game, two weeks after the tip at 50 units of Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) in Sacramento.

harden transparent

” It feels good. In this series, there have been ups and downs, I had not played well three-quarters of the last game… So I am happy to have been able to bounce back”, commented the winger, whose desire to do battle transpired everywhere (13 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals). It was he who put Boston back in front halfway through the second quarter, being as aggressive in the circle as he was surgical behind the arc (6 out of 10), two of his banderillas flying above Joel Embiid who came vainly hinder him.

To say that the Cameroonian pivot did not respond to the most important match of the season is an understatement. If Tatum worked solo in attack, the Celtics shone collectively with their relentless and rotating defense, with Al Horford in regular blocker (3) on the MVP, content at 5 of 18 on shots (15 pts, 8 rebounds).

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Philly started their game solidly, however, counting up to nine units ahead in the first quarter, when PJ Tucker planted all of his 11 points there. But in the following period, Jaylen Brown sounded the green revolt (25 pts), just after receiving an involuntary blow to the nose from James Harden. The latter could not work a miracle, as was the case twice in games 1 and 4, where his award-winning shots at the buzzers had offered victory to Philadelphia. Worse, he was transparent (9 pts at 3 out of 11).

The Sixers will be able to harbor regrets. They had thought they had succeeded in the most difficult part by winning game 5 at TD Garden, without then being able to finish the job at home. And with the advantage of the parquet recovered, the Celtics did not miss their chance, unlike coach Doc Rivers, who will inevitably be singled out for his inability to complete the series, after this fourth failure. in the play-offs, having nevertheless led 3-2. The previous three had happened when he was coaching … Boston in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

The World with AFP


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