By Jack Ryan
So, the Celtics took a 2-0 lead in their Eastern semi series with the Sixers, who coughed up a 22-point lead and lost Game 2 of their second-round series.
The Celtics rallied to win 108-103 and take a 2-0 lead, but Joel Embiid isn’t worried as the series shifts to Philly for Games 3 and 4.
“We know what we gotta correct,” Embiid said. “We need to be better defensively. Offensively, we just got to keep moving the ball and do our thing. We know what we gotta do.
“Honestly, I’m not too scared because we know what we gotta do to be able to win games. They’re a very good team, they’re well-coached. We just gotta execute our
Embiid had 20 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, but he struggled shooting and finished 8-of-22 from the field. Fellow rising star Ben Simmons scored just one point and missed all four of his shots from the floor. Simmons added seven assists and five rebounds but also had five turnovers.
Simmons, however, echoed Embiid’s optimism.
“Mentally, I was thinking too much, overthinking the plays,” Simmons said. “Obviously they have a game plan. I know what that game plan is, and I just gotta play my game. I’m going to have bad game. It happens. Obviously, it’s bad timing.”
The Sixers took a nine-point lead after the first quarter and opened the second on a 14-2 run to push the advantage to 48-26. Boston answered quickly and got within five at halftime. The lead was gone by the middle of the third.
The 76ers then rallied to go back ahead 93-88 just past the midway mark of the fourth quarter. The Celtics had one final answer, using an 11-2 run to take 99-95 lead with four minutes left. They did not trail again the rest of the way.
“There’s not going to be a pity party,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “We’re not going to sit in there and have a bunch of second thoughts or second guesses. I’m not going to let them. And neither am I going to let the coaching staff. We’ll figure out things we have to do to win.”