Celtics

Celtics lose to Sixers in Game 4, can't close out series

Celtics lose to Sixers in Game 4, can't close out series

PHILADELPHIA – The Boston Celtics have been Team composure, seemingly taking the ups and downs of every game in stride, rarely allowing it to get to them. 

But things were different on Monday against Philadelphia, a game in which a slew of calls against Boston finally rattled them – even head coach Brad Stevens who picked up a rare technical just seconds after Jaylen Brown was called for a technical foul.

It was that kind of night for the Celtics as the Sixers kept their season alive for at least one more game with a 103-92 win. 

Trailing by double digits with 1:12 to play, Stevens began to clear the bench.

Jayson Tatum recorded his sixth consecutive games with 20 or more points, as he led the Celtics with 20 points.

The Celtics return home to where they will get another shot at closing out the series on Wednesday. 

Boston had its chances to put serious pressure on the Sixers, but consistently failed to make the game-changing shot or get the clutch defensive stop when it mattered most – the fourth quarter. 

Philadelphia played with a heightened sense of urgency all game long, fueled in part by head coach Brett Brown making a last-minute lineup change by starting T.J. McConnell over a struggling Robert Covington.

McConnell had 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists. 

Despite the McConnell move making the Sixers a smaller team, they were indeed the aggressor most of the game. 

The Celtics were used to being the bullies in this series, but could never establish the kind of overpowering physicality we saw in Games 1-3.

Boston couldn’t get any kind of traction through the first three quarters, with tempers beginning to flare and frustration mounting.

At one point, Terry Rozier and Joel Embiid got into it and were both hit with a technical foul for their run-in.

Philadelphia was able to continue building upon its first half lead in the third quarter which ended with the Celtics trailing 76-65.

You could sense it was going to be a rougher-than-usual night for the Celtics from the game’s early moments.

Boston held a slim 22-21 lead after the first quarter of play, but all was not well for Boston. 

Shane Larkin suffered a left shoulder injury late in the quarter and was initially listed as questionable to return but did not. 

And once again, the Celtics saw the fouls rack up at an alarmingly high rate, led by Jayson Tatum who had a pair of personal fouls against him in the first five minutes of play.

The fouls continued to mount for the rest of the Celtics who were called for 16 personal fouls in the first half compared to just eight against Philadelphia which went into the half ahead 47-43.

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What advice did Celtics' Jayson Tatum give the Kings' De'Aaron Fox?

What advice did Celtics' Jayson Tatum give the Kings' De'Aaron Fox?

Jayson Tatum has found both individual and team success early in his NBA career. The Celtics forward was third in rookie of the year voting last season and his team reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

So, with one playoff run under his belt, he's passing on advice that an NBA postseason is a different animal to the Sacramento Kings' De'Aaron Fox, a player whose team - until a recent slump - was hoping to snag the final Western Conference spot and get him his first taste of the playoffs.

On the "Road Trippin'" podcast with ex-NBAer Doug Christie, now a Kings broadcaster, Fox, selected two picks after Tatum at fifth overall out of Kentucky in 2017 by Sacramento, said his fellow 21-year-old imparted his playoff wisdom while the two were on a tour of China last summer with Nike.

"All these old cats saying, 'Oh the playoffs is night and day. It's not the same,' " Fox said. "And I'm like, 'yeah, whatever.' But now that I have a peer that went through it, he's like, 'Man, playoffs is crazy.' And he went to Game 7, conference finals! He's like, 'the playoffs and regular season, it's NOT the same." 

Here's a clip via uninterrupted.com: 

It appears Fox may have to wait at least another season to see the difference after the Kings (34-35) have dropped seven of their past 10 and began Tuesday six games behind the Clippers for the eighth spot in the West.

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NCAA tournament predictions: Celtics' Jayson Tatum reveals his bracket

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USA TODAY Sports

NCAA tournament predictions: Celtics' Jayson Tatum reveals his bracket

The 2019 NCAA Tournament begins Tuesday night when two of the first-four games take place, so time is running out to submit your bracket.

Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum revealed his bracket on his Instagram story Tuesday, and his prediction for the champion will come as no surprise.

Check out his bracket in the photo below.

Tatum, of course, played for Duke before the C's selected him No. 3 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. His Duke squad was upset by South Carolina in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, resulting in a painful ending to an impressive freshman season.

Perhaps the most interesting part of Tatum's bracket is his national championship game matchup: Duke vs. North Carolina. The Tar Heels-Blue Devils rivalry is the best in college basketball, but these teams have never played against each other in March Madness. It would be fitting, and also really cool, if the first meeting came with a title at stake.

Click to see Mookie Betts' bracket>>>

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