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Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

May 9, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) controls the ball while Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) defends in the second half during game five of the 2023 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday night likely felt all too familiar for Boston sports fans. For the third time in less than two weeks – and for the second time involving the Celtics – they had to watch one of their teams put together an effort well short of worthy for a Game 5 at TD Garden. It also may have felt familiar given the star of the game has been giving the Celtics fits all season.

Once again, league MVP Joel Embiid proved to be a dominant force, as the led the Sixers past the Celtics in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series on Tuesday night at TD Garden. Behind Embiid’s effort, the Sixers are now one game away from beating the Celtics and advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals, with two chances to pick up that win.

Embiid scored 33 points in this game, his most in a regulation game this postseason and second most overall behind his 34 points in Game 4. His offensive performance wasn’t just a matter of repeatedly getting to the free throw line either – he shot 11 free throws in this game (making 10), his second-fewest in a game this series. He was 10-of-23 from the floor and 3-of-7 from deep.

  • It wasn’t just his effort on the offensive end that made a difference though. Embiid consistently bothered the Celtics at the rim on defense. He recorded four blocks, but impacted a significant number of shots on top of that. On the glass, he finished with seven rebounds.

    The Celtics’ season now depends on finding away to slow Embiid down. They’ll need to keep him contained in Thursday night’s Game 6, which is an elimination game for Boston. Coverage of that one begins at 7 p.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Sports Hub BetMGM Celtics Radio Network.

    Keep scoring for more Embiid highlights…

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.

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