Tatum brings out his scoring power and seals the first win

Stevens' men open the series with a victory that they did not certify until the last minute. The Sixers proved to be overly reliant on Embiid and an erratic defensive level.


Celtics and Sixers opened fire in a tie in which Brad Stevens's men started with the favorites band. The loss of Ben Simmons and the lack of depth on the bench presented the Sixers as a real unknown. Brett Brown started the game with a surprising approach. When everything seemed to presage that Matisse Thybulle would be in charge of playing Simmons, Brown surprised with the ownership of Horford accompanying Embiid in painting. An approach whose sole objective was to constantly try to attack the low post and make the height factor prevail both in defense and attack.

The Sixers' first 12 minutes were flawless. With a very demanding zonal defense and a movement of the ball as slow as possible, with the aim of looking for as many comfortable shots, they kept some Celtics surprised by the rival approach at bay. Those of Philadelphia finished the first quarter with a point of rent on the scoreboard and leaving those of Stevens in ridiculous shooting percentages. However, Embiid could not last the whole game and the substitutes had to be up to the task to reach the end of the game with options.

In the second quarter the story changed. A 7-0 run in 3 minutes began to tip the balance in favor of the Celtics who began to find that exterior sense that they lacked at the beginning and to manage to attack that area that the Sixers had managed to shield at the start of the duel. Brown's men no longer circulated the ball so well, they ended the game with up to 18 losses of which 13 were in the first half, and they could not find an Embiid so accurately who went from 11 points in the first quarter to 2 in the second

That performance slump for the Sixers was accompanied by a resurgence of the man of the game at the offensive level in Boston. Jayson Tatum went into halftime with 21 points, 15 of them in the second quarter, and with more than 50% accuracy both in field goals and on the perimeter. The defensive and offensive improvement of Stevens' men had its reward and at halftime they left 6 up.

However, the third quarter would have a new turn in the future of the party. After a remarkable start by Stevens' men, Tatum went to the bench and the Celtics saw not only the first half percentages drop again, but they also lost an income of 11 points. To get the game back on track, the Sixers needed a lot more than just a toned Embiid. Josh Richardson, Alec Burks, Tobias Harris and Shake Milton came to the rescue of the Cameroonian, who found in his 4 teammates a precise source from which to nourish himself with balls and to whom to make clarifications to find more fluid attacks and more precise shots from the perimeter. The Celtics did not pass 20 points in the third period and Brown's men went 4 points up.

The last quarter would once again maintain the dynamics of the whole game. The ups and downs and the irregularity of play and scoring in both teams would be present again. The team that was able to maintain a minimum level of offensive regularity would take the jack to the water. In the first 4 minutes, it was enough for the Celtics with a pair of 3-pointers by Jaylen Brown and a fleeting appearance by Kemba Walker to equalize the game. The turning point was a flagrant type 1 foul called at Horford with 7 minutes remaining.

As a result of that foul, the Sixers lost the defensive dynamics displayed during the brilliant third quarter and the Celtics showed enormous physical superiority to end up taking the game. They hardly needed a fleeting appearance from Brown and another from Walker, added to a full 12 free throws in the last 7 minutes to end up winning the game with relative solvency. The only but for Stevens is Hayward's injury. The Indianapolis player left in the fourth quarter with a sprained ankle that will be evaluated in the coming days. It was not Gordon's best game on the offensive side, he stayed at 12 points when his average is above 17. Despite Hayward's sensitive decline, the numbers of Tatum (32 points), Jaylen Brown (29 points) and Kemba Walker (19 points) invite offensive optimism for Boston's.

The next match between the two will be at dawn from Wednesday to Thursday (00:30 Spanish time). Despite the green shoots of some players such as Burks or Richardson, the Sixers will need a greater physical deployment and accuracy on the perimeter to try to overthrow some Celtics whom they faced in the first match of the tie, but against the that they lacked the strength to fight for the victory until the end. Ben Simmons will continue to watch him from the stands. Perhaps with the Australian the film would be another.

Photos from as.com
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