When you’re involved in a Game 7 situation, you’ll do just about anything to win. Sixers’ reserve Georges Niang went as far as trying to physically restrain Celtics star Jaylen Brown from running down the court during Sunday’s NBA Eastern Conference semifinals.
Midway through the second quarter of Sunday’s Game 7 in Boston, Brown saved the ball from going out of bounds near Philadelphia’s bench. As he attempted to run down the court, Niang grabbed Brown’s leg.
Brown then walked back over to the bench and stared Niang down. NBA official Scott Foster initially slapped only Brown with a technical foul for the incident. Then Niang received one.
That’s not a common thing you’ll see in an NBA game. And in a situation where every possession matters, it feels like a really bone-headed move on behalf of Niang. But it kind of worked out.
Well … until the second half.
The Celtics seemed to use that moment as a motivator in the third quarter. They were absolutely unstoppable during those 12 minutes, outscoring the Sixers 33-10 to open up an 88-62 lead.
What makes Boston’s run even more impressive? The game was tied at 55-55 early in the third quarter. Then the floodgates opened.
Boston used that huge third quarter to build an insurmountable lead and defeat Philadelphia 112-88. The Celtics took the series 4-3 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. They’ll play the Miami Heat with a trip to the NBA Finals hanging in the balance.
Jayson Tatum goes off in Game 7, leading Celtics to ECF
Jayson Tatum made NBA history during Sunday’s Game 7 thrashing. The Celtics star scored 51 points in Boston’s blowout win, most ever in a Game 7.
Tatum connected on 17-of-28 shots from the floor, which included six-of-10 from behind the 3-point line. He also collected 13 rebounds to record a double-double in the series-deciding game.
When he exited the game late in the fourth quarter, he received a standing ovation.
Boston’s win on Sunday sets up an Eastern Conference Finals showdown against Jimmy Butler and the Heat. And, so far, Miami has cruised through the playoffs.
Miami needed just five games to knock off the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round of the playoffs. The Heat then torched the New York Knicks in six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Boston needed six games to defeat the Atlanta Hawks in Round 1 and went the distance in the semifinals against the 76ers.
It should be a fun series with the NBA Finals on the line.