The Boston Celtics finish this series at home.
Led by Marcus Smart and the awakening of Jason Tatum in the fourth quarter, the Celtics preserved their season on Thursday with a 95-86 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The series will be decided by Game 7 in Boston on Sunday.
Smart led the team in scoring with 22 points as well as 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals, but the game hinged on Tatum scoring 16 points in the fourth quarter after only getting 3 points in the previous 36 minutes.
Tatum alone outscored the Sixers 16-13 the entire quarter, and also finished with 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
“Humily, I’m one of the best basketball players in the world,” Tatum said he said after the game. “Get through the tough times, get through the slumps, it’s a long game. Luckily I’ve got some great teammates who keep it going.”
The Celtics held a double-digit lead for most of the first half, but the Sixers stormed back in front of a raucous crowd shortly after halftime. The game tightened later in the third quarter, and no team led by more than two points until Tatum led a Celtics rally late in the fourth quarter.
Joel Embiid and Therese Maxe tied for the game lead with 26 points each, on 18-of-39 shooting combined, but the Sixers as a whole had a miserable night on offense, with 36.1% shooting from the field.
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