Celtics Insider

Blakely: C's all business in sweep of Sixers

Celtics Insider
USA TODAY Sports photo

Early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Game 4 matchup, Philadelphia was out in transition with a 3-on-1 break.

Seconds later, the ball sailed out of bounds, Boston Celtics basketball.

It was a fitting image to a series that lived up to its one-sided expectations as the Celtics pulled off the first playoff sweep of the Brad Stevens era with a 110-106 Game 4 win over the Sixers.

In addition, it was also the first sweep in one of the longest-running playoff rivalries in the NBA.

 

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Boston now awaits the winner of the Toronto-Indiana series in which the Raptors lead 3-0.

The Celtics closed out the third quarter with a 12-0 run to lead 89-77 which put the Sixers in a deficit that they just could never recover from in the fourth.

Still, the Sixers remained a feisty bunch that, what they lacked in talent, they tried to make up for in effort.

Along with playing the entire series without All-Star Ben Simmons, the Sixers were also without Tobias Harris for a good chunk of the fourth quarter after he suffered a left eye contusion near the end of the third quarter.

He was able to re-enter the game in the fourth, but by that point, the Celtics had seized control of the game with the only thing left to the imagination was how many points would the Celtics win by in the series clincher.

STARS

Kemba Walker: He advances to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in his career, and Walker’s play in Game 4 had a lot to do with that happening. He led all scorers with 32 points, just killing the Sixers on pick-and-roll jumpers in addition to tallying four rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.

 

Joel Embiid: This was one of his least productive games statistically, but Embiid’s presence was once again looming large. He would finish with another double-double, with 30 points and 10 rebounds.

Jayson Tatum: If there were a series MVP, without question it would be Tatum. The third-year wing delivered yet another strong performance for Boston, tallying a double-double of 28 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.

STUDS

Jaylen Brown: Game 4 was yet another game in which Brown delivered a strong, below-the-radar performance for Boston. He would finish with 16 points and five rebounds for the Celtics.

Al Horford: After struggling throughout the first three games, Horford delivered his best game of the series in Game 4. The former Celtic finished with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Daniel Theis: He has had the daunting task of beginning every game defending Joel Embiid. While still coming up on the short end of a few – ok, quite a few – calls by the officials, Theis had one of his strongest playoff games ever in scoring 15 points which included a pair of 3-pointers.

Tobias Harris: Even before he took a major blow to the head and still managed to return to the floor, Tobias Harris was one of the standouts for Philadelphia. He finished with 20 points to go with five rebounds.

DUDS

Josh Richardson: For the first three games of this series, Richardson was Philadelphia’s best scoring option not named Joel Embiid. But the shot-making that Richardson delivered was nowhere to be found in Game 4 on Sunday as he finished with 14 points on 2-for-10 shooting from the field.

Sixers 3-point shooting: Philly’s struggles knocking down shots will be remembered as one of the many issues the Sixers have to address in the offseason. The Sixers shot just 26.5 percent (9-for-34) from 3-point range.

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