With 6:41 remaining on the clock in the first half of Game 2, Robert Covington knocked down a 3-pointer to give the 76ers a 48-26 lead over the Celtics.
From that point forth, things went downhill for the Sixers.
It appeared that Philadelphia was responding to a disappointing Game 1 loss in a big way, but this is a Brad Stevens-led Celtics team here, and this group was not going to quit Thursday night.
Boston closed the half on a 25-8 run to cut the deficit to five, and continued to ride that momentum in the second half.
The Celtics’ first lead of the night came at the 7:40 mark of the third quarter, and they maintained control for much of the final 20 minutes of the game, winning 108-103.
Here are three takeaways from Game 2…
Jaylen Brown epitomizes spirit of Celtics
Down, but never out.
Brown suffered a hamstring injury in Game 7 of the Celtics’ first-round series against the Bucks and was listed as doubtful for Game 2. Not only did he play Thursday, the second-year guard made a great difference.
Brown, clearly hobbled, logged 25 minutes in the win and finished with 13 points and four rebounds.
Brown elevates for the two-handed throwdown in transition! pic.twitter.com/gxZjRx9RsU
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 4, 2018
His resilience is a reflection of this Boston team and all that it has had to endure throughout the 2017-18 season. Injury and adversity have resulted in this team being counted out on a number of occasions, yet the Celtics seem to always exceed expectations.
Ben Simmons’ struggles
To put it lightly, Simmons had a rough night.
In 31 minutes, the rookie was 0-of-4 from the field, finishing with one point, five rebounds, seven assists and five turnovers. While Simmons sat in the fourth quarter, the Sixers temporarily regained the lead, thanks to the play of reserve point guard T.J. McConnell.
As evidenced in the Sixers’ first-round win over the Heat, Simmons finds a way to adjust to team’s game plan to stop him. This regression from Game 1 should be a wake-up call to get him back on the right track in Game 3.
Celtics’ experience comes into play
The Celtics were led by 21 points from 20-year-old Jayson Tatum; 21-year-old Brown scored 13 points, 24-year-old Terry Rozier had 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds without committing a turnover and 24-year-old Marcus Smart finished with 19 points and five rebounds.
Aside from Tatum, each member of Boston’s young core had playoff experience prior to this season.
— NBA (@NBA) May 4, 2018
In the first two games of this series, this has proven to be the big advantage over Philadelphia, which also boasts a talented young core. The young Celtics have used their experience to bring Tatum along, while the young Sixers have struggled to find their way and bring an end to Boston’s massive runs.
Philadelphia’s youth resulted in a blown lead; Boston’s experience allowed them to claw back from such a deficit.