The Philadelphia 76ers managed to even the score with the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association's (NBA) second round playoffs, bringing the best-of-seven series to a 2-2 tie. In a nail-biting match that went into extra time, the 76ers emerged victorious with a final score of 116 to 115.
James Harden Leads the Charge
James Harden was the standout player of the game, scoring 42 points and ultimately securing the win with his last three 19 seconds before the final buzzer. Despite losing a 16-point lead in the final quarter, Harden remained determined, stating, "I just want to win.
Today was do-or-die for us." The star player also expressed pride in teammate Joel Embiid, who was playing with a knee injury, saying, "He's strong, he's bouncing back, he's recovering very well. I feel like it's my job to give him that light, that smile that he deserves.
Hopefully today was one of those days where he can smile."
Embiid and Tatum Battle it Out
Joel Embiid put up a strong performance with 34 points, while Jayson Tatum was the top scorer for the Celtics with 24 points. However, 76ers coach Doc Rivers felt that a push-off by Tatum during a three-point attempt should have been called, potentially altering the outcome of the game.
Rivers stated, "Jayson Tatum's 3 was awful that (a push-off) wasn't called. You've got to call that play. I know it's a big play and I'm a big fan of refs not deciding (the game) but it could have decided the game." Despite the close loss, Tatum remained optimistic, saying, "I guess I've got to demand the ball a little bit more.
I thought good things happened when I had it in my hands. I thought our offense was OK. We chipped away, we made big-time shots, we got great looks all game long. We just came up short in the end." With the series now tied 2-2, fans can expect a fierce battle in the upcoming games as both teams fight for a chance to advance to the next round.