Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 14: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket against the Philadelphia 76ers during the fourth quarter in game seven of the 2023 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals at TD Garden on May 14, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

The Celtics trailed after one quarter in Sunday’s Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden. They started to regain momentum in the second, but managed to build just a three-point lead at halftime.

It wasn’t until the third quarter when the Celtics really got going. In total they outscored the Sixers 33-10 in that quarter, but there was one particular part of that run that may have a little bit of extra meaning to Boston sports fans.

  • The Sixers scored the first basket of the second half, tying the game at 55-55 (which was the last score of the game that didn’t have the Celtics leading). From there, over the next 10:04 of game time, the Celtics scored 28 points to the Sixers’ 3.

    That’s right – the crucial run of this major playoff win for Boston was 28-3.

  • That 28-3 number is one that has been ingrained in Boston sports culture since the Patriots’ erased a second-half 28-3 deficit against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, leading to their fifth title. In addition to starring on many t-shirts, laptop stickers, etc., it’s a number that seems to pop up randomly yet often since, like a Fibonacci sequence for Boston sports fans.

    It’s not just that the number came up as a coincidence. It just so happened that NFL Network was showing a replay of the 28-3 game earlier in the day. Former Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman – who was in attendance at TD Garden on Sunday – shared on Instagram that he was watching the re-air prior to heading to the Garden for what he called ”pre-Game 7 inspo.”

  • That run was also where Jayson Tatum really got going on his way to an NBA Game 7-record 51 points. In the 10-minute window he scored 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting, knocking down all three of his three-point attempts and three free throws as well.

    Jaylen Brown was the only other Celtics player to hit multiple baskets during that stretch. He knocked down both three pointers he attempted for a total of six points. Marcus Smart kicked off the run with a layup, and Derrick White had the final bucket of the stretch in the form of a three. Malcolm Brogdon hit a three during that window as well.

    Thanks in large part to that run, the Celtics secured their spot in the Eastern Conference Finals. They’ll host the Miami Heat to begin that series on Wednesday, with coverage starting at 8 p.m. ET on 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Sports Hub BetMGM Celtics Radio Network.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 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 [email protected].

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