May 26, 2018

Disastrous 2nd quarter puts Sixers down 2-0 in series with Celtics

07 May 2018, 12:25 | Kristopher Drake

II USA TODAY Sports Images

Boston Celtics forward Al Horford

The Celtics erased a 22-point deficit in a 108-103 Game 2 victory over the Sixers on Thursday night, to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.

Ben Simmons put his one-point showing in the 76ers' Game 2 loss to the Celtics on one thing: "I was thinking too much".

There's been a lot of hand-wringing about his brutal performance in the last 24 hours, with some critics wondering whether the basketball media has perhaps been too hasty in anointing him a superstar.

Philly isn't down and out yet, but as the series shifts back to The City of Brotherly Love for Games 3 and 4, it will need Simmons to shake a slump that, thus far, has uncharacteristically doomed the 76ers in Games 1 and 2.

Brown missed six quarters of play - Game 1 against the Sixers and the second half of Game 7 against the Bucks in the opening round - with a hamstring strain.

JJ Redick had a game-high 23 points while making 5 of 9 three-pointers.

"I'll be back", Brown said. They only made three of those attempts as they desperately tried to limp into the half with a double-digit advantage, but the Celtics weren't going to let that happen. It features 41 Hall of Famers including legends such as Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer, Chet Walker, Billy Cunningham, Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks on the Philadelphia 76ers side.

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Even though he was able to go in Game 2 it was still clear he didn't have his explosiveness, but he isn't concerned about that right now, he just wants to help the team any way he can. The Boston Celtics are undefeated at home this postseason, but they've lost all three of their away games.

The Sixers would trail by four going into the final frame with Boston holding a 79-75 after three quarters on the back of a 10-point quarter from Jayson Tatum. He managed to get easy points through dunks, free throws and transition play in the series opener, but in Game 2 the Celtics were successful in shutting down fast-break opportunities and staying with him every step of the way. It was his first time off the bench since Game 5 of last season's Eastern Conference Finals. Robert Covington had 22 points and nine rebounds, and Joel Embiid was the third Sixer to score 20 points with 20 and 14 rebounds.

Rozier is averaging 19 points, 6.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game.

Never, ever count out the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics have had no problem switching any screen that comes Simmons' way.

"It's just the worst I played all year". Even so, Philadelphia has to trust their big-man and live with the lay-ups that Boston makes. "If he's not, then we'll know early". He had 22 points while shooting 8-for-15, including 4-of-7 on 3-pointers. As he oversees Philadelphia practice at the practice facility in Camden or in the small gym at Harvard University the Sixers have set up shop at, you have to wonder what is going through Colangelo's mind. He shot 0-for-4 from the field. Brown, who just returned from injury, had 11 points in a crucial stretch in the second period.

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