Celtics comeback sinks 76ers, LeBron again too much for Raptors
The Boston Celtics overcame a 22-point deficit to beat the Philadelphia 76ers, while LeBron James led the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA playoffs on Thursday.
The Celtics rallied for a 108-103 win to go 2-0 up in the Eastern Conference semi-finals ahead of Saturday's game three in Philadelphia.
The situation certainly looked dire for the Celtics earlier, as they trailed 48-26 with a little more than six minutes remaining before half-time. But Boston finished the half on a 25-8 run to cut the half-time deficit to five. The 76ers fell apart in those closing minutes, giving the Celtics too many open looks, and their own shots looked rushed.
The rally fired up the Celtics, got the crowd back in the game, and put all the pressure on Philadelphia starting the second half.
"That was only the second quarter, and we knew the game was far from over," Jayson Tatum told TNT about the comeback.
Boston continued their surge in the third quarter to take the lead, and while the 76ers kept it within a one-possession game late, the Celtics held on.
Boston put six players in double figures in scoring, led by Tatum with 21 points and Terry Rozier with 20. The 76ers were led by JJ Redick (23 points), Robert Covington (22) and Joel Embiid (20).
LEBRON, LOVE LEAD THE WAY
For the second straight game, James and the Cavaliers broke the Toronto Raptors' hearts.
James scored 43 points to lead the Cavs to an easy 128-110 victory over the Raptors in Toronto to put Cleveland up 2-0 in the Eastern Conference semi-final.
Game three is in Cleveland on Saturday.
Toronto played well for most of the first half, building a nine-point lead just inside the five-minute mark. But the Cavs closed to within three points at the half, and opened up the second half on fire. James scored 27 points after the break, as the Cavs built an insurmountable lead. He dished out 14 assists and had eight rebounds.
Kevin Love (31 points, 11 rebounds) also came up big for the Cavaliers.
Ben Simmons did not play well in the first half, and sat most of the second half as T.J. McConnell took over the point for the 76ers. Simmons finished with only one point, five turnovers and a terrible minus-23 rating.
Tatum exploded for a dunk.
WARRIORS AT PELICANS, ROCKETS AT JAZZ
The Pelicans kept it close in game two, but the Warriors rode the emotional wave of Stephen Curry's return (28 points in 27 minutes) to dispatch the Pelicans. Even playing at home, the Pelicans might not have enough firepower to keep up with the defending NBA champions.
The Jazz have been the surprise of the postseason, and winning game two in Houston was huge. But the Rockets, who led the NBA with 15.3 made threes per game this season, probably will not shoot a dismal 10 of 37 from behind the arc again.