The Celtics piled on the misery in Boston as James Harden and the 76ers pulled off a Game 1 upset with the help of the home team late.
Fans in Boston were still mourning the Bruins blown a 3-1 series lead against the Panthers when the Celtics proved the addage true: when it rains, it pours.
Boston was a considerable favorite over the Joel Embiid-less 76ers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. And they had a four-point lead in the final two minutes of play.
If you’re a Philadelphia fan, you’ll say James Harden, who turned up looking like he dressed for the Met Gala, was too much to handle. If you’re a Celtics fan, you’ll say they blew it.
NBA Twitter blasts Celtics for blowing it vs. 76ers
As much as Twitter wanted to troll the Celtics, social media also gave Harden his due.
Boston committed two turnovers in the final three minutes, scoring just four points on 1-of-7 shooting from the field.
The worst of those turnovers was courtesy of Malcolm Brogdon, who delivered a pass straight to Tyrese Maxey to take all the way back for an uncontested layup on the other end. That was with 30 seconds to go and gave Philadelphia a 114-113 lead.
After Harden hit a triple for the lead with 8.1 seconds remaining, Marcus Smart committed the second turnover at the baseline, giving the ball away and essentially ending the Celtics hopes.
This was the best possible outcome for the 76ers, who weren’t expected to steal a game in Boston with Embiid sitting out because of his sprained knee. His status for Game 2 is still up in the air but Harden, Maxey and company have already proven they can hold down the fort until he returns.
As for the Celtics, this was a setback but it’s still early in the series. If they needed motivation, they’ve got it now.
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