PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 11: 1James Harden #1 and Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers talk against the Boston Celtics during the third quarter in game six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2023 NBA Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on May 11, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The celebrations will have to wait. In typically Philly sports fashion, the Sixers are trying to make us as tense as possible. After running over the Celtics in game 5, they came up small in game 6, scoring just 86 points and dropping game 6 at home. The series will now head back up to Boston, for a winner take all game.

It was ugly from the jump. The Sixers came out ice cold, while the Celtics found their groove early. The Celtics took a quick 15-3 lead. It took until almost six minutes in for the Sixers to hit their second FG. They eventually settled in a bit and made it closer to end the first quarter. But the 2nd quarter was the same story. Celtics got out to a fast start, and the Sixers had to work double time just to keep it within single digits by halftime.

The third quarter went more their way. They finally found a rhythm on offense. It was the lone quarter in the game that they won, scoring 30 to the Celtics’ 21. And they looked to carry it over into most of the 4th. But a turning point came when an Embiid block was ruled off of him. Replay showed it clearly went off Robert Williams. But it was a long break. And the Sixers never looked the same on the other side of it. Boston capitalized on the Sixers losing their energy. The Celtics ripped off a 14-1 run, and that was all she wrote. The Celtics wound up winning 95-86.

Maxey shot well for most of the game. Embiid struggled in the first half from the field but eventually found his rhythm. Both scored 26. But no one else ever stepped up. Tobias Harris missed layup after layup. James Harden didn’t even seem to be trying to get his own shot at times. And everyone else besides Georges Niang couldn’t hit water in the middle of the ocean. A usually efficient team from deep, shot just 23.5%.

But they get one more chance to end the drought. And they get a couple of days rest to prepare for it. On Mother’s Day, they travel up to Boston, for a decisive game 7. Win, and they break a two-decade-long streak of not making it to the Eastern Conference Finals. Lose, and it becomes the 5th time this team lost in the second round. And who knows what that would mean for Harden’s future here, or even Embiid’s.

6 Iconic Close Out Games In Philadelphia Sports History

See what Andrew Salciunas found in the Audio Vault today. Every day on The Best Show Ever, he dives into the Vault to pull out Audio relevant to the day. And with the Sixers having a chance to close out their series tonight vs the Celtics, Andrew looked back at the times Philadelphia teams were able to close out the series.

It is something the Sixers will look to do tonight. They return to Philly to play game 6 tonight. if they win, they finally will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001. Ending a curse of this team being knocked out in the 2nd round. There is certainly optimism around Philly that they can get it done given how well they played in game 5.

But before we see if they can close it out, Andrew wanted to look back at the times Philly teams did get it done. Between the Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Eagles, this city has enough gut-wrenching moments to go around. Between the Allen Iverson run to the playoffs for the Sixers in 2010. The Phillies run last year. Eagles making it to the Super Bowl in 2017. The Flyers great run in 2010. And so much more. All of these runs first had early series, like the Sixers are having now, that they had to get through.

So while await to see if the Sixers will let us party, let’s look back at past times when our teams gave us reason to celebrate in Philadelphia.

Here is what Andrew played in the Vault today:

  • Sixers Stun the 1-seed Bulls in

    Before the Process, the Sixers were the perennial 8-seed and usually lost in the first round. But there was one season they did not. They were facing the one-seed Bulls, led by MVP Derrick Rose. They were huge underdogs. But a bad injury to Rose opened the door for them, and they managed to win the series.

  • Flyers Come Back From Down 0-3 vs the Bruins

    And of course one of the best early series of all time in Philly sports history was the Flyers beating the Bruins on their way to the Stanley Cup in 2010. It started with the Bruins, and it looked like the run would end quickly. Bruins took a 3-0 series lead. Flyers won the next 3. But then in game 7, Bruins had a 3-0 lead. But just like they came back from down 3 in the series, they roared back from down 3 goals in that final game.

  • Phillies Beat the Braves in the NLDS Last Season

    One of the greatest Philly playoff runs just happened last year. No one had the Phillies getting past the Wild Card, let alone making it to the World Series. But they beat the Cardinals, to get a chance to face their rivals the Braves. The Braves were a 100-win team. The Phillies limped into the playoffs. But it was the Phillies who came out on top. And Andrew played some of the highlights from that game 4 win to clinch the series in the Vault today.

  • Phillies Beat Brewers in 2008 NLDS

    The 2008 run was full of great moments in the NL Championship Series and World Series. But to get there, they had to beat the Brewers first. Luckily the Brewers did not give them too much trouble. They beat them in 4 games, ending it in that game 4 thanks to a good start by Blanton, along with Home Runs by Jimmy Rollins, and Jayson Werth, and a two-homerun day by Pat Burrell.

  • AI and the Sixers Beat the Raptors in 2001

    Before the 2001 Sixers could play the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals, or the Lakers in the Finals, they had to make it through the Raptors. Vince Carter and company did not make it easy. But the Sixers pulled it out.

  • Eagles Beat the Falcons in 2017

    Obviously, they dont do series in the NFL. So every playoff game is a close-out game. And one of the most tense early playoff games for us was Eagles Falcons in 2017. The Eagles went on to look great the following week in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl. But man they made us suffer in this one. A close game the Eagles just barely one, that took a red zone stop to seal.

  • Listen to the full Audio Vault below:

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