The excitement was unbearable.
The Celtics built a mighty, 3-0 lead against the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference semifinals as they prevailed through a tense and dramatic final few minutes of regulation and overtime on Saturday.
Game 3 was a pretty epic win – to say the least. Confetti cannons went off at the end of regulation when it was first thought thought the 76ers got the victory.
Marco Belinelli’s buzzer-beater was quickly revealed to be a game-tying two-point shot – and not a game-winning 3-pointer – and that meant overtime for the 76ers once the confetti was swept from the floor.
And overtime resulted in a win for the Celtics.
Al Horford was definitely the savior on the floor at the end of Game 3 with hard drives in the paint. He scored seven points in overtime and delivered what turned out to be the winning basket, the steal on the ensuing possession, and the free throws for the final margin.
Then there was the Brad Stevens effect as the coach crafted some unbelievable plays.
Physicality was also definitely shown throughout Game 3 and, once again, took its toll on the youngest 76ers.
Joel Embiid turned the ball over and struggled to make shots. Ben Simmons was forced to take difficult jumpers. His shot has not been consistent and he has been rendered largely ineffective in the series.
The Celtics enter Monday night poised to sweep the series if they can continue to limit Philadelphia’s 3-point shooting.
They do need to stay out of foul trouble. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown experienced foul trouble early, while Marcus Smart ended up fouling out at the end of regulation, in Game 3.
Brown’s return from a hamstring strain has been encouraging after his initial return in Game 2 was a little shaky. He now appears on the path of being 100 percent as he was much better in Game 3 while on a minute restriction.
With Cleveland holding a 3-0 lead in their conference semifinal as well, the Cavaliers will most likely be the next opponent in the playoffs. So be ready for another matchup with LeBron James.
Marcus Morris has been an excellent defender against James in his career. While James can generate offense against anyone, the ability of Morris to challenge James will be a key to the conference finals.
Brown will also get his chance to guard James, so the faster the Celtics can get the fourth win against Philadelphia – and get Brown extra time to rest his hamstring – the better.
The fight between these two teams will be impeccable.
The quicker the Celtics can close out the 76ers, the quicker the countdown to it can begin.
About the Podcast:
Celtics Stuff Live was the original live interactive webcast produced specifically for Celtics fans. The show originally aired for two hours every Sunday night and featured regular and prominent guests such as Mike Gorman, Sean Grande, Steve Bulpett, Marc Spears, Peter Vecsey, Mark Murphy, Scott Souza, Kelly Dwyer and Gary Tanguay and broadcast on CelticsBlog.com.
Justin Poulin was one of the first members of the internet media to be credentialed with access to the locker room. After effectively retiring in early 2012, Celtics Stuff Live returns with Jon Duke and Justin Poulin featuring the interviews and expert analysis that listeners came to expect from the show in the Danny Ainge era.
Now broadcasting on CLNS Media, Celtics Stuff Live is back! —- CLNS Media is a Boston-based, online, sports radio station that broadcasts some of the most well-known sports radio shows in the country. *For booking or advertising inquiries, please contact the North Station Media business offices at [email protected] North Station Media also offers a comprehensive podcast university. For more information, contact the NSM business offices at [email protected]