Horford’s late heroics give Celtics series stranglehold on 76ers


Al Horford had no use for the untimely celebration that showered confetti all around the 76ers’ residence court docket on the finish of regulation, delaying extra time and prompting an impromptu cleanup job.

Seems, Horford has the Celtics only a recreation away from an actual sweep.

Horford scored the go-ahead basket for Boston late in extra time in a wild Sport Three the place the Philadelphia 76ers have been sloppy with the basketball and the confetti, main the Celtics to a 101-98 victory and a 3-0 series lead on Saturday evening.

“These are the type of moments you need to be in as a basketball participant,” Horford mentioned.

He noticed some wild ones down the stretch.

Marco Belinelli had hit a buzzer-beater to finish the fourth quarter that despatched the Sixers right into a wild celebration on the court docket as confetti shot out of a cannon that made it rain over chunks of the sector.

Maintain up.

Sport Three was solely headed into OT.

“I wished to play immediately,” Horford mentioned. “I did not care in regards to the confetti.”

The story of the (ticker) tape exhibits the Celtics are nonetheless the crew to beat.

The Celtics, who rallied from a 22-point deficit to beat the 76ers 108-103 in Sport 2, can advance to the Jap Convention finals for the second straight season on Monday.

Wild finish of regulation

The ending to regulation was about as wild because it will get for each groups. JJ Redick threw away the basketball on an errant go to nobody that was scooped by Terry Rozier who threw to Jaylen Brown for the basket and an 89-87 lead.

Seconds later, Belinelli surprised everybody with a falling 22-footer in entrance of the 76ers bench as time expired that despatched the sport into extra time — and confetti mistakenly blasted from the cannon. There was a couple of seven-minute delay whereas crew workers scrambled to wash up the mess on the court docket. Some gamers even scooped up confetti as everybody waited for the beginning of extra time.

Confetti Man — sporting a “Breaking Information: I Do not Care” T-shirt — pushed the button too early and the oblong items have been hovering in every single place.

Confetti Man — who declined to give his identify — came to visit to press row and mentioned the Sixers “higher win or I am executed.”

They did not.

Belinelli opened OT with a 23-footer and Redick adopted with a Three that appeared to take him off the hook.

However the Celtics would not allow them to draw back and Horford escaped for a layup with 5.5 seconds that gave Boston a 99-98 lead. Ben Simmons then threw the ball away after a timeout and Horford sealed the win with two free throws.

Sixers coach Brett Brown mentioned he thought Belinelli had gained the sport with a 3-pointer.

“Stroll off three. I believed it was. I truly left the court docket,” he mentioned. “You come again on and there is confetti. You progress on. It slows the sport down lots however you progress on.”

Jayson Tatum scored 24 factors and Rozier had 18.

Joel Embiid had 22 factors and 19 rebounds for the Sixers, Redick scored 18 and Simmons 16.

Horford hit the massive pictures within the closing minute of extra time to silence what had been a rabid crowd. Tremendous Bowl MVP Nick Foles rang the ceremonial bell and whipped the group right into a frenzy. One fan waved an indication that mentioned “Philly Particular 2.0” as a nod to the trick play known as that allowed Foles to catch a landing go in opposition to the New England Patriots.

Simmons bounces again

However not each Philly crew can beat one from New England in an enormous recreation.

Simmons, the rookie of the yr favorite, had a depressing Sport 2 and scored just one level and failed to attain a discipline aim for the primary time all yr. Corridor of Famer Allen Iverson known as Simmons and gave him a wanted pick-me-up.

“Simply play the sport I have been enjoying,” Simmons mentioned AI advised him. “I understand how to play the sport. I am unable to give it some thought an excessive amount of. I’ve simply received to go on the market and do it.”

Decided to not get embarrassed once more, Simmons scored on a driving layup lower than a minute into the sport.

“My aim is not to go on the market and drop 30 each recreation,” Simmons mentioned. “My aim is to go on the market and facilitate and get the perfect pictures we will.”

He did all of it within the second quarter when the Sixers seemed each bit the crew that ended the season on a 16-game win streak.

Trailing by 10 early within the second, Simmons had an emphatic slam to kickstart a rally. Simmons would make the spotlight reel with a behind-the-back go to a charging Embiid for a thunderous dunk over Aron Baynes. Embiid made the free throw and the group was going bonkers.

Redick and Dario Saric every hit threes through the 13-Zero run that helped the Sixers take a 51-48 lead into halftime.




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