BOSTON — The Boston Celtics didn’t have to sweat things out Sunday, cruising to a 112-88 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in the winner-take-all Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at TD Garden.
With the win, the Celtics take the series 4-3 and eliminate the rival 76ers from the postseason.
Check out the full box score here.
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
This is what Celtics fans were waiting for from Jayson Tatum.
Tatum hadn’t been at his best through the first six games in the series against the 76ers. But with the lights at their brightest, Tatum erased plenty of those memories and turned in a star-studded effort for the Celtics.
Despite his struggles, Tatum showed no apprehension on the big stage with the pressure magnified. He took eight shots in the first quarter alone — he attempted 10 total in the first half in Game 6 — and that aggressiveness fueled him to the point that he and the Celtics completely took over in the third quarter. Tatum scored 13 of Boston’s 18 points in the quarter as the Celtics outscored the 76ers, 33-10, in the stanza to turn a 3-point halftime advantage into an 88-62 lead entering the final frame.
Tatum now owns the NBA record for most points in a Game 7. It was a memorable performance for Tatum and it really couldn’t have come at a better time.
STARS OF THE GAME
— Tatum torched the 76ers for a game-high 51 points on 17-for-28 shooting, including knocking down 6-of-10 3-pointers. He also accumulated 13 rebounds and five assists in the dominant performance.
— Jaylen Brown turned in a strong running-mate showing alongside Tatum. Brown netted 25 points on 9-for-19 shooting while also tallying six rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
— Al Horford had a very modest offensive output with just six points but his defense on 76ers star and NBA MVP Joel Embiid was paramount to the win. Embiid shot just 5-for-18 from the floor for 15 points to go along with four turnovers as Horford finished with three blocks.
Horford missed all of his 3-point attempts the previous two games, but found his long-range shot at the right time. FanDuel Sportsbook set Horford’s over/under on made 3-pointers at 1.5 with -142 odds on the Over. Horford knocked down two triples in the first half, as a $100 wager on the prop bet would have netted a total of $170.42.
The Celtics will appear in the Eastern Conference finals for the fifth time in the last seven seasons, where the Miami Heat await them. The first game of the series, which is a rematch of last year’s conference finals, is scheduled for Wednesday with tipoff from TD Garden scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.