By Eric Jacinto
Tonight the Philadelphia 76ers, were facing getting swept by their arch rivals the Boston Celtics in game four of the Eastern Conference semifinals but that didn't happen as the 76ers avoid the sweep winning by 11, 103-92. The series goes back to BeanTown (Boston) on Wednesday night for game five as the 76ers look to avoid elimination once again.
Brett Brown, made a bold change to the starting five as he took out forward, Robert Covington for point guard, TJ McConnell. McConnell, had the game of his life helping the Sixers keep their season alive for at least one more game. He scored 19 points (career high), dished out 5 assists and even grabbed 7 rebounds, he was certainly a big part in why the Sixers won tonight with his energy and hustle up and down the court. McConnell ended up playing 39 minutes which lead the team along with Dario Saric. Covington on the otherhand only played 19 minutes off the bench scoring only three points as he was 1 for 7 from the field.
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid both had double-doubles. Simmons had 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Embiid scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds too. Dario Saric, lead the team in scoring with 25, while grabbing 8 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists.
There was eight lead changes, the biggest lead the Celtics had was only 6 and the biggest lead for the 76ers was 18. Both teams didn't have a good shooting night as the Celtics were 31/75 (41.3%) from the field and the 76ers were 38/94 (40.4%), both were even worse from three point land as the Celtics shot a miserable 34% and the 76ers shot even worse at 26%. The 76ers, outscored the Celtics 52-30 in the paint that was a major difference in the game compared to game three when it was 48-46 in favor of the 76ers.
The 76ers, showed tonight that there's no given up they came out with a purpose and that was to win and extend the series. They played with energy, heart and passion tonight as they had nothing to lose, it was win or their season was over. Can they keep the momentum going heading back to Boston on Wednesday night in game five? Sure if they play like they did tonight and then some.
Will Brett Brown keep TJ in the starting lineup for game five? Will Covington even get as many minutes as he did tonight? It's gonna be interesting to see what the 76ers do to avoid elimination again.