Celtics

Young Sixers make most of playoff experience

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Young Sixers make most of playoff experience

BOSTON -- Last season, the Celtics sent the Philadelphia 76ers packing in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Sixers returned this fall with another young lineup, only this time these players were taking their posteason experience with them on to the court.

The 76ers beat the Celtics twice in the preseason and continued the streak with a 106-100 win in their first regular-season meeting. They applied what they learned from last season's seven-game series on Friday night at the TD Garden.

"Our game plan is to use our speed, to use our length, try to clog up the paint because we know they pretty much have everything," said Jrue Holiday (21 points, 14 assists). "They have size inside, three-point shooters, and they have guys who attack. We used our athleticism and speed, scrambling on defense to get stops. I think in the first half that was kind of how we blew the game open, by getting stops and getting fast breaks."

The 76ers jumped out 21-14 lead late in the first quarter and built the edge up to 16 in the second. The Celtics cut the deficit to four points during the fourth but were never able to get over the hurdle. The Sixers 57-45 first half lead was enough to stave off the Celtics 55-49 second half advantage.

"Just keep them on their toes," said Nick Young (10 points). "We knew they were going to come out and try to hit us hard in the third (quarter) and we fought through the turnovers, their runs, and we just kept going. We didn't get carried away. We stayed to our program and made some big plays down the end."

Years of experience aside, the Sixers are looking to take on their more veteran opponents with full force. They are not letting the names on the jerseys get into their head.

"Last year we took (the Celtics) to Game 7 and the organization got the right unit around us to keep helping us progress," said Evan Turner (25 points, 11 rebounds.) "Other than that, we're not intimidated, we want more. This is a year we keep progressing and every single games important. We dont walk out on to the court and say, 'Oh my gosh its Paul Pierce,' or one night, 'Oh my gosh, it's LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony. We expect to win and thats just progression.

The Celtics and Sixers will face each other three more times during the regular season -- in back-to-back games in December and a game in March in Philadelphia.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.

7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.

11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far. 

16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

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ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

HOUSTON -  Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE