Boston Celtics

By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman,

The Boston Celtics had a chance to close out the series with a clean sweep, but the Philadelphia 76ers were able to pull out a Game 4, 103-92, win on Monday night.

Boston took a commanding three-game series lead after Al Horford helped to propel the C’s to a 101-98 overtime win in Game 3. And prior to that the Celtics erased a 22-point deficit for the win in Game 2, and Terry Rozier III’s 29 points helped the take the series opener.

Believe it or not, but the C’s first basket of the game came on one of Aron Baynes’ three-pointers.

Which came before the 76ers eventually pulled away with a 10-2 run to take a 14-7 lead with 5:40 to play in the first.

But the Celtics regained the lead at 16-14 with 3:05 left in the first following a 9-0 run, that included back-to-back threes from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

Things got a little scary for the Celtics when Shane Larkin went down the tunnel accompanied by team trainers as he was holding his shoulder after running into a brick Joel Embiid wall, I mean screen, with 1:20 left in the opening quarter.

NOTE: Larkin never returned to the game.

After getting five points from both Brown and Tatum, the Celtics held a 22-21 lead heading into the second.

The fouls starting piling up for the Celtics in the second as Tatum drew his third at the 6:40 mark.

Get ready for some foul math.

By the end of the quarter, Tatum, Morris, Brown and Smart each had three. Ojeleye had two off the bench. Plus there were two more with one, for 16 total fouls just in the first half.

And they would end up finishing the night with 28 team fouls, which is their highest total of this playoff run.

Philly pulled ahead 40-38 after going on an 8-0 run late in the second.

Then things got real interesting, real quick.

Rozier was called on an offensive foul. Embiid tried to knock the ball out of Rozier’s hands after the play. And guess what. Rozier didn’t like that. So him and Embiid exchanged bumps for double-technical fouls.

Then after the whole fiasco, Embiid knocked down a three on the next possession after they were called on double-technicals. But Scary Terry came right back to match with a three of his own with two minutes left in the first half.

After out-scoring the C’s, 26-21 in the second, Ben Simmons and the Sixers went up 47-43 heading into halftime.

Philly took a 10-point lead just over halfway through the third before the Celtics went on an 8-2 run to pull back within four with 3:34 left in the third.

Shortly after the 76ers got had themselves a five-point possession after a wild series of events.

Brown gets called on a shooting foul on a Ersan Ilyasova made layup. After the made freebie, Brown is called for a technical foul, which happened to be his fifth of the game. Then C’s head coach Brad Stevens gets going and Rozier draws a technical for getting after it.

Then this happened during the break.

And right after that the Sixers knocked double a pair of buckets to finish off a 10-point run with 2:05 left in the third.

Heading into what could’ve been their last quarter of the season, the Sixers were looking at an 11-point lead.

Boom! – TJ McConnell took over for the Sixers, while shredding down the C’s wide-open lane for two easy buckets to go up 86-68 just three minutes into the fourth.

At time it looked like the Celtics could make a push.

They would pull back within 10 with 2:19 left in the game after a pair of made free throws by Horford.

But it was a little too late to pull off an epic comeback as the Sixers get to play another on Wednesday night after finishing off their, 103-92, Game 4 win.

McConnell was the story of the night for the Sixers, finishing with a solid 19 points on 75 percent shooting, plus seven rebounds and five assists.

Dario Saric lead the 76ers with 25 points and eight boards. And Embiid posted a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Simmons returned to form with a 19-points, 13-rebound double-double. Which was a good thing for the Sixers, because J.J. Redick only dropped seven, while going 1-for-7 from three.

The Sixers out-rebounded the Celtics by 10 just at they took advantage of their 15 turnovers for 16 points.

Tatum had a team-high 20 points (7-16 FG), four rebounds and four assists.

Horford posted a 10-points, 10-rebound double-double, to go with three assists and three blocks.

Rozier and Smart combined for 25 points on 9-of-23 shooting. And Brown was in foul trouble for most of the second half, so he only finished the night with eight points and three boards.

Boston shot a series-low 41.3 percent from the field, with the Sixers shooting a shade worse at 40.4 percent.

The Celtics are now 1-4 on the road as they head home, where they’re 6-0, for Game 5 on Wednesday night.

UP NEXT: The #2 Boston Celtics (55-27/3-1) will welcome the #3 Philadelphia 76ers (52-30/1-3) back to the TD Garden on Wednesday night for Game 5 of Eastern Conference Semifinals. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell, live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 7:30 p.m., with tip-off set for 8:00 p.m.

John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at

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