Celtics beat 76ers 114-102 for 2-1 lead in Eastern semis

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 27 points, Jaylen Brown had 23 and the Boston Celtics spoiled Joel Embiid’s MVP coronation, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 114-102 Friday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Game 4 is Sunday in Philadelphia.

Embiid had 30 points and 13 rebounds in his second game back from a sprained right knee after receiving his MVP trophy in a pregame ceremony. James Harden followed his 2-of-14 effort in a Game 2 loss with 3-for-13 shooting for 16 points.

The Sixers pulled within five on De’Anthony Melton’s 3-pointer to get the crowd back into the game for all of 20 seconds before Malcolm Brogdon countered with a 3 to give Boston a 100-92 lead. Al Horford crushed the Sixers again — as he has most of his career — when he buried a 3 for a seven-point lead.

Embiid, forced to try and win it alone without any serious offensive helped, missed a pull-up 18-footer and Tatum drained a jumper that all but put the game away. Tatum hit one more 3 for good measure and the Celtics seized control of the series.


PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker scored 47 points, Kevin Durant added 39 and Phoenix cut Denver’s lead to 2-1 in the Western Conference semifinal series.

Booker had another massive offensive effort, shooting 20 of 25 from the field, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. Durant shot just 12 of 31 from the field, but made 14 of 16 free throws.

Denver’s Nikola Jokic finished with 30 points, 17 assists and 17 rebounds. Jamal Murray led the Nuggets with 32 points, while Michael Porter Jr. added 21 points and 12 rebounds.

The Suns will try to even the series in Game 4 on Sunday in Phoenix.


AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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