Back to Philly: 76ers buried in third quarter of Game 2, will head home with series tied 1-1
The vibes were immaculate heading into Game 2 last night between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics.
After James Harden and company were successful in stealing Game 1, Joel Embiid made his return to the court after not playing basketball in nearly two weeks, the night after he was crowned the NBA MVP. The Liberty Line was down at Bankroll Philly with the iHeart crew, drinks were flowing and we had 1200+ streaming the game live with us on YouTube but unfortunately, none of that translated to the actual game last night.
You knew Boston was going to come into this game and give it everything they had to avoid heading to Philly down 0-2 in the series and really, the Sixers faired pretty well in the first half.
The game was much slower than what we witnessed in Game 1 thanks to Joel Embiid and the Sixers actually playing defense. While knocking off some rust and getting his legs under him after a 12-day absense, Embiid made an immediate impact in protecting the paint. Jayson Tatum was in foul trouble early and the Sixers entered halftime down eight points with the game in reach to put a stranglehold on the series before heading back to Philly.
Unfortunately, everything fell apart in the third quarter.
The Celtics outscored the Sixers 35-16 in the third and simply could not miss from beyond the arc. They knocked down seven 3-pointers, turned the ball over zero times, and held the Sixers to 6-of-19 shooting.
The Sixers got out hustled in every aspect of the game in the third. Just like that, Game 2 was over as Doc Rivers emptied the bench in the fourth, getting their shit kicked in by the Celtics 121-87.
The sky isn’t falling.
I know it may feel like it because thats who we are as a city but this type of thing happens in a 7-game series pretty frequently. Just look at the Miami Heat in Game 2 last round against the Milwaukee Bucks. The underdog Miami Heat stole the first game, got blown out in Game 2 and then bounced back to win the series.
The Sixers did what they had to do by winning on the road and now they are heading back to Philadelphia with the series tied 1-1 and Joel Embiid was able to get back on the court, knock off the rust, and work on getting his live-game rhythm back.
He didn’t even look too limited by his knee and in the first half of the game, racked up five beautiful blocks to keep the Sixers in the game.
On the night, Embiid finished with 15 points, 3 rebounds, and those 5 blocks while shooting 4-of-9 from the floor.
No one really played well last night.
The Sixers’ leading scorer was Tobias Harris with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Tyrese Maxey scored 13 points with 3 rebounds and 3 assists, and James Harden shot a MISERABLE 2-of-14 from the floor, scoring just 12 points on the night.
As for the Celtics, they shot 51 three-pointers and made 20 of them. Everyone on the Celtics was hitting threes outside Al Horford and as a team, Boston shot 47% from the floor.
That’s all we’re going to say about Game 2. I don’t want to read, listen, or even acknowledge the contingent of fans that want to roll out the “Sixers are better without Joel Embiid” narrative after a bad game.
Won’t even go into detail on why that’s beyond stupid.
76ers Back Home Tomorrow Night
Game 3 is Friday night. Embiid will now have a game under him while a sold out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center will be going bonkers when he gets his MVP trophy.
Get some rest. This series starts Friday in Philly.