Terry Rozier scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half, as the Boston Celtics erased a deficit and defeated the 76ers 108-103 Thursday night to take a 2-0 series lead.

After a stellar Game One in which he poured in 29 points on a near perfect shooting night from beyond the arc, the second year guard out of Louisville was equally impressive in Game Two, or at least in the second half. Rozier scored just two points in the first half, as the 76ers did a tremendous job neutralizing his scoring ability through the first two quarters. Rozier stepped up in the final 24 minutes, producing 19 points, seven rebounds and nine assists.

While Rozier was sensational in Game Two, it was the 76ers who jumped out to a quick lead to open the first quarter. J.J. Redick in particular was sharp in the first quarter, firing the opening salvo by knocking down a 24-foot jumper to take a 3-0 lead. Redick scored the game’s first eight points, connecting on two of his five made triples. Redick finished the game with a game-high 23 points on 9-17 shooting.

While Redick was on fire to open Game Two, his cohorts were less than spectacular in the first quarter, missing a trio of open layup looks that could have extended the 76ers’ lead further. Redick opened the frame 3-3, while the rest of the 76ers’ shooters were just 2-11. With the 76ers, sans Redick, struggling from the field, the Boston Celtics had an opportunity to strike and grab an early lead. But the Celtics wrestled with inconsistencies as well, falling short on their first four shots from the field.

As the Celtics finally knocked down a bucket, the scoring came in droves for Boston. The Celtics used a 10-3 run to grab their first lead of the game, 11-10. Jayson Tatum was particularly sharp throughout this stretch, as the rookie grabbed five quick points. Tatum finished the game with a a team-high 21 points on 7-14 shooting.

As soon as the Celtics found their range, so too did the 76ers, as Philadelphia took a quick 9-2 run to recapture the lead, 20-12. Marco Bellinelli found his stroke throughout this run midway through the first quarter, scoring six of his 11 points in the first quarter. He and J.J. Redick started the affair 6-7 from the field. Bellinellie finished 5-11 from the field, inlcuding 1-4 from beyond the arc.

The 76ers and Celtics traded buckets back and forth to close the first quarter, as the 76ers scored 11 points and the Celtics picked up ten. At the end of one quarter, it was the 76ers leading by nine, 31-22.

Coming out of the break, the 76ers put their collective feet on the hypothetical pedal, jumping out to an enormous lead by way of a 14-2 run to open the frame. Philadelphia found its range, collecting a 10-0 spurt over that larger run to grab a 45-24 lead. Joel Embiid scored five consecutive game points over that stretch, accounting for a quarter of his 20 game points. Embiid finished 8-22 from the field, struggling from the three point line, finishing 1-6 from deep.

Robert Covington, a near invisible entity in Game One, came to life in Game Two from beyond the arc. He connected on a triple during this run, one of his four made threes, en route to his eight made field goal and 22 points. The three that Covington hit at the 5:22 mark in the second quarter marked the seventh team triples, matching the Game One total.

The Celtics struggled from the field in the second quarter as well, as they went over three and a half minutes without a point, helping the 76ers stretch their lead to 21. But after an Al Horford bucket, the Celtics rapidly found their touch, taking a 10-2 run to cut the 76ers’ lead to 12, 53-41. This run was part of a larger 20-5 run to end the second quarter. That outburst cut the 76ers’ lead to just five as the half drew to a close, 56-51.

Opening quarter runs remained a trend in Game Two, but this time, it was the Boston Celtics who jumped out to an early advantage in the third quarter. The Celtics scored seven of the quarter’s first nine points, tying the game at 58. Later in the frame, the Celtics took their first lead since the first quarter, when they led 11-10, when Aron Baynes knocked down a three to make it 64-63. During that stretch, the 76ers fell cold, failing to score a field goal in over two minutes. Of the struggling 76ers’ shooters, one had a large negative impact than the rest. Ben Simmons finished with just one point in 31 minutes of play, failing to make any of his four shot attempts. He did secure five rebounds and seven assists, but Game Two was likely the worst of Simmons’ young professional playoff career.

Later in the quarter, the Celtics grabbed another quick run, this time an 11-2 advantage, to extend their lead to the largest of the game to that point, 76-68. It was at this point that Jayson Tatum shined the brightest, scoring five consecutive Celtics’ points as part of his 10 points scored in the third quarter. This 11-2 run helped the Celtics win the third quarter 28-19 and take a 50-20 run that dated back to the second quarter. As the quarter came to an end, the 76ers’ lead of 48-26 swung to a four point Celtics’ lead, 79-75.

As the final quarter opened, the 76ers tied the contest by scoring the first four points of the fourth frame. But soon after the Celtics grabbed five consecutive points of their own, recapturing a four point lead, 86-82. The 76ers simply would not go away, as the quarter of small runs continued and Philadelphia scored nine of the next 11 points, taking a three point lead, 91-88. All nine of those points came from a barrage of three pointers from three different scorers. Robert Covington, Joel Embiid and J.J. Redick each each knocked down a triple to take this three point lead.

During that stretch, the Celtics struggles flared up once more, as Boston failed to score from the field for over four minutes. But as they had in Game One and earlier in Game Two, the Celtics quickly righted the ship and used an 11-2 run as part of a 15-4 run to effectively seal the victory for the Boston Celtics 108-103.

With the loss, the 76ers fall for the second consecutive game in the series, as they’re now down 2-0 in the series. The 76ers now face steep odds as they attempt to mount a comeback. Only 19 teams in the current NBA format have lost a series after taking the first two games of the series. In the semifinal round, the numbers are even more abrupt, as teams that are up 2-0 are 67-4 in closing out the series. Finally, the Boston Celtics have never lost a playoff series, 36-0, when they go up 2-0 in a series. The 76ers will attempt to defeat the odds one game at a time, starting Saturday when they come home to the Wells Fargo Center, for Games Three and Four. Game Three tips off at 5 p.m. Saturday evening, and you can hear all the action on 97.5 The Fanatic!

-By Tyler Zulli, producer and www.975thefanatic.com contributor