Boston Celtics player Jaylen Brown used his public platform to send a message to fans ahead of their game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Brown noted that the energy at TD Garden during home games was sufficient during the NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals series. On Sunday, Brown’s wish came true as the crowd was already hyped up for Game 7. Fans cheered on every dunk, 3-point shot, defensive stop, and offensive rebound. The game was a career-best for Jayson Tatum, who scored an NBA-record 51 points and led the Celtics to a 112-88 win.
The victory secured the quarter-finals series for Boston and kept their championship dreams alive. Joel Embiid, who won his first NBA Most Valuable Player award, struggled during Game 7, scoring only 15 points. James Harden, on the other hand, scored just nine points, but Embiid called the Celtics “the best team in the league.” The Celtics defeated their opponent, the Miami Heat, in the Eastern Conference Finals, which begins on Wednesday in Boston.
The Heat have a formidable two-way player in Jimmy Butler, while the Celtics have an explosive star in Tatum who brought his A-game on Sunday. Boston manager Joe Mazura noted the team’s ability to handle the ups and downs of the series and credited their solid defense for their 95-86 win to extend the series to Game 7.
For the Celtics, losing Game 7 would have marked a setback from last season’s run to the NBA Finals. However, the team had faced an unusual season with an unexpected coaching change, a season-ending injury to Danilo Gallinari, and a lackluster defense. Meanwhile, the 76ers entered Game 7 under pressure to deliver after making the playoffs for six consecutive years without making it to the conference finals.
The game was filled with uneven performances, with top-performer Harden disappearing after Game 1 and resurfacing in Game 4 before struggling again in Games 5 and 6. The flagrant foul on Brown caught by Harden proved to be the turning point in the Celtics’ victory.
As the Celtics continued to dominate, Brown bled from the collision and fell in front of the 76ers’ bench. Georges Niang grabbed Brown’s leg as he was trying to run up the court, resulting in technical fouls for both players. Despite being on the back foot, the Celtics maintained their stance with the help of their loud fans.