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.