The Philadelphia 76ers came in to Game 3 against the Boston Celtics, in desperate need of a win. Going down 3 games to 0 would almost definitely put the series out of reach. It’s beginning to look as if a monstrous game from star Joel Embiid is the only chance they have of picking up a W.
The Sixers started off the game with a heavy dose of Embiid.The big man scored the teams first basket and was able to get to the free throw line. The defense was still an issue though, as the Celtics were able to jump out to a 7 point lead with just under half the quarter gone. The Sixers were able to close the gap before the end of the period, thanks in large part to the aggressiveness of Tobias Harris, who had 9 points on 8 attempts. The Celtics would end the quarter with just a two point lead 26-24.
The Sixers started fast in the second quarter and at one point early on even grabbed a two point lead. Embiid and Shake Milton hit a pair of threes, and brought the Sixers within 1, after Boston used a 13-7 run to take a 4 point lead. While the Sixers seemed to have done a better job with their turnover problems they had a key turnover that helped the Celtics stretch the lead. Philly then struggled to defend against the high screen and gave up back to back baskets from distance. Philly wasn’t done fighting though, some tough defense and a second 3 point play from Embiid, who had a a double double, made it just a 2 point game at the half 51-49.
Needed bucket. pic.twitter.com/N5sSpAkgLX— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) August 22, 2020
Neither team started the third shooting particularly well. The Sixers went 0/4 and the Celtics just 1/4. Eventual Philly got it going and Embiid gave them a 1 point lead on his 12th free throw of the game. However, it didn’t last long as a 8-0 Celtic run led by Kemba Walker gave Boston a 7 point advantage. Philly answered with 7-0 run of their own to tie the game again at 63. Boston used Embiid’s foul trouble to their advantage. With the big man on the bench they were able to take command and end the quarter with a 4 point lead 76-72.
Alec Burks got it going early in the fourth. Scoring twice to make it a 2 point game. But things started to unravel after that. Jayson Tatum scored, 5 of his 14 points, on two straight possessions and the Sixers trailed by 7 with less than 8 minutes to go in the game. Philly kept fighting though and used big buckets from Milton and Burks to get within a point. But that was as close as they got. After trading buckets, two bad turnovers from Embiid late, and an inability to score at all, gave way to a 8-0 Celtic run that sealed the game.
Final Score Boston 102 Philadelphia 94