By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Boston Celtics took the first game of their series with the Philadelphia 76ers to begin their Conference Semifinals. The Celtics won 117-101 on Monday night at the TD Garden in Boston, Mass.
The Celtics now lead the series with a 1-0 lead. The 76ers will now look to attempt to even the series on Thursday night in Boston.
According to ESPN’s Stats & Information, the Celtics are 15-13 as an underdog this season. They have the best win percentage by any team in a season since the 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks team, who was 19-15 as an underdog. They defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.
The Celtics are considered the underdogs in this series, as nearly nobody is giving them a chance to win this series. Boston is without its two best players, Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, who suffered season-ending injuries in the regular season.
Jayson Tatum has become the second rookie in the last 20 seasons with three straight 20-point performances in the playoffs. Only fellow rookie Donovan Mitchell has more, as he has done it in 10 games.
Terry Rozier, who took the place of Irving, led the Celtics with 29 points. He also had eight rebounds, six assists, two steals, and one block.
Rozier was one of four Boston players, who scored in double-digits. Tatum had 28 points, while Al Horford added 26 points.
Marcus Morris also had 11 points.
Tatum with his 28 points tied for 5th-place in Celtics playoff history for points in a game by a rookie.
The Celtics had 19 bench points. Morris led the bench with 11 points.
Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 31 points. He also had 13 rebounds, five assists, and one steal.
Embiid was one of five Philadelphia players, who scored in double-digits. J.J. Redick added 20 points, while Ben Simmons had 18 points, and Dario Saric had 12 points.
Marco Belinelli also had 11 points.
The 76ers had 17 bench points. Belinelli led the bench with 11 points.