TJ McConnell Helps 76ers Avoid Elimination


Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown made a decision to start T.J. McConnell instead of Robert Convington.

In a raucous Game 4, the Sixers got their first win against Boston in this postseason, staving off elimination with a 103-92 victory Monday night in Philadelphia.

The Celtics are still leading the series for 3-1 and will need to win in Boston on Wednesday night to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second year in a row. Sixers center Joel Embiid picked up a technical foul for shoving Aron Baynes after a drive to the rim, and Baynes knocked in three straight free throws to push the Celtics' lead to 12 points midway through the third quarter.

G/F Ben Simmons got back on track on Monday, recording a double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

In game four, the Celtics were not able to establish the things that made them so good in the first three games, and fell right into a new game plan of the 76ers. Simmons had 18 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and one block.

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid poked fun at Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier after his team's win in the National Basketball Association playoffs on Monday.

Boston punched their ticket to the Conference Finals with a thrilling 114-112 win over the Philadelphia 76ers to win their series in five games.

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"The more offensive rebounds they get the more opportunities they get to score", he said, "and the more susceptible you are to fouling". That paid dividends, as McConnell was much more of a scoring threat than Robert Covington - the player whom he'd replaced in the starting lineup.

Though, after the Celtics went up by four points, JJ Redick answered with an incredibly clutch three-pointer to pull the Sixers to within one point.

And just when it looked like the Celtics would be headed back to The City of Brotherly Love, Marcus Smart tied the game with a tip-in and fed Jayson Tatum for the go-ahead layup with 20 seconds left.

Boston was coming off a defeat in Game 4, but managed to impose their will on the 76ers down the stretch in Wednesday's thriller, improving to 7-0 on their home court in these playoffs.

The Sixers won the points in the paint battle by an average of 4.7 points (plus-14 total) through the first three games of the series. Smart is always a factor on defense and he blocked two shots and had two steals. Boston was paced by the young wing tandem of Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who posted 25 and 24 points, respectively. He's scored at least 20 points each night, shooting 52.4 percent from the field. Morris also grabbed five rebounds and blocked two shots. The Sixers outscored the Celtics, 30-22, in the quarter and led, 94-90, with 8:51 to play, but the Celtics went on a 10-0 spurt to claim a six-point edge.

The Boston Celtics play host the Philadelphia 76ers tonight.