They want to close out the Sixers tonight and move on to the Eastern Conference Finals where LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers await the victor of the Philadelphia 76ers-Boston Celticsseries.
The pressure is still on the Sixers, but if Philadelphia wins Wednesday, Boston could start feeling the heat. And they got up by as much as 12 in the third quarter, before the Sixers came roaring back to get right back in the game by the end of the frame.
"If we're ever going to do anything of any significance, we're going to have to go through the Boston Celtics", Philadelphia head coach Brett Brownsaid after the game.
The Celtics may be playing their Game 5 without backup point guardShane Larkin. Whatever McConnell's role is moving forward, the Sixers know what they can expect from him.
McConnell didn't just shine on the offensive end of the floor.
It wasn't to be, as Boston held on for a dramatic 114-112 victory. The Celtics seal the deal at home.
The 76ers would not get a final shot off, giving the Celtics the win.
Embiid got a bit boisterous after the Sixers had stretched their lead to double digits late in the third quarter. One of the biggest drivers of their success has been rookie Jayson Tatum, who ESPN reported is averaging 23 points per game in the series. They actually opened as favorites before the betting line moved, and they had been favored in each of the previous four games. Philadelphia won Game 4 at home, and they are back at TD Garden, where they blew a 22-point lead just a week ago. Dario Saric had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Ben Simmons added 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists. He later found Tatum for a dunk and finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, and five steals. "We believe our time is now", he said.
On this night, the Sixers couldn't overcome their Achilles' heels - turnovers and missed opportunities. "TJ!" grew louder each time T.J. McConnell darted through the lane for an easy basket or buried a three-pointer to build the 76ers' lead. It's just part of a basketball game. However, to defeat a tough Sixers team in Game 5, the Celtics will need more from everybody. This is a coach that is climbing the ladder in regards to being one of the best coaches in the game.
"They were clearly the more physical team (Monday) night", Stevens said. "I mean ... I'm not gonna comment on it", Stevens said as he briefly stewed.
Most people would be lying if they thought the Celtics would control this series as they have. You can see it in the way (the Sixers) play.
They certainly won't go down without a fight and they produced a spirited display which led to some chippiness on the court between the two sets of players. He tried to miss the second on objective but made it, but then sealed the win for Boston by picking off Ben Simmons' court-long pass.