BOSTON ( Associated Press) – Jason Tatum finally got a game off the field for Boston and delivered a finisher the likes of which the NBA has never seen before.
After struggling with his shooting in back-to-back games, Tatum scored 51 points — the most in a Game 7 — as the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 112-88 on Sunday to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second year in a row. Entered. ,
The Celtics, who lost to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals last year, will square off against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference playoffs for the second consecutive season. The first game will be in Boston on Wednesday.
“Getting another opportunity is a relief. Our season could have ended after Game 6,” said Tatum, who broke the record for most points in Game 7, the 50 Stephen Curry scored two weeks earlier. “I was well aware that I had played very badly for 43 minutes.”
A game only waking up in the fourth quarter after missing 14 of his first 15 shots from the field, Tatum got off to a fast start that the Celtics needed. He scored 25 points in the first half and 17 in the third quarter, turning a three-point lead into a rally as Boston won 33–10.
“You always come into a series that’s how it’s supposed to go,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said in his first year at the helm of the NBA team after training on the eve of camp after Ime Udoka was suspended. “That’s not how the playoffs are.”
Tatum also added 13 rebounds and Jaylen Brown scored 25 points for the Celtics, who came back from a 3–2 deficit in the best-of-seven series to keep alive their hopes of an unprecedented 18th NBA championship.
Tatum was ejected to a standing ovation with three minutes remaining in the game.
New NBA Most Valuable Player Joel Embiid had 15 points on 5-for-18 shooting for Philadelphia. Tobias Harris added 19 runs.
“I thought we had the right group. I really believed in it,” said Sixers coach Doc Rivers, who was on the bench for Boston when the Celtics won it all in 2008. I think this team is on the right track. I think we have taken a step forward this season. And then tonight I think we took a step back. But that’s okay. it happens.”