Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
#21 Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers surrounded by Boston Celtics players. 76ers France/Twitter


  • Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 62 points to finally oust the Atlanta Hawks
  • The Boston Celtics decisively won the season series with the Philadelphia 76ers
  • Joel Embiid might not be available for Game 1

The Boston Celtics were pushed to their absolute limit by the Atlanta Hawks, and it took a Herculean effort for them to finally close out the series.

Jaylen Brown led the Celtics in scoring with 32 points at a highly efficient shooting clip of 52 percent while going 6-of-8 from beyond the arc.

Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum did not fall far behind as he chipped in with a double-double of 30 points and 14 rebounds.

Both franchises were neck and neck throughout the better part of three quarters, but the final frame showcased why the Celtics were viewed by oddsmakers as the team with the best odds of winning the NBA title this deep into the postseason.

"I think in that fourth quarter, four minutes left. We made winning plays. We talked about it before the game, do whatever it takes. I don't ask the guys anything to do I wouldn't do. It starts from the top and the rest will follow. This was a tough one, it felt good that we won," Tatum mentioned.

Trading baskets to open the fourth quarter, the Celtics broke the game open with an Al Horford corner three-pointer in the final four minutes of the game.

A quick five-point personal run by Tatum pushed the Celtics to an eight-point lead, but the Hawks hung around for a while, with Boston struggling to inbound the ball in four straight attempts and eventually throwing it away to ensure that their season would end right then and there.

"That felt like the longest possession ever, but we were all on the same page, communicating, switching at the point of contact," Tatum said about the game-clinching sequence.

The Game 6 victory puts the Celtics into the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the sixth time in the past seven seasons as their road to the NBA Finals now has a Joel Embiid-sized obstacle standing in their way.

Based solely on their regular season series with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Celtics won it three games to one with Boston leading them in points (110.8 to 106.5), field goal percentage (50% to 47%), three-point field goals (41% to 36%) and rebounds (41.8 to 36.8).

But as it has been the case in the playoffs, winning four games against another team starving for a championship banner is not going to be as easy.

Embiid's availability for Game 1 remains up in the air after injuring his knee in Game 3 against the Brooklyn Nets, which opens up the door for the Celtics to capitalize should he be unable to play.

Their chances of winning may go drastically up with Embiid on the shelf, but it does not mean that the Sixers are any less dangerous.

With a potent core of James Harden, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris backing up Embiid, the Celtics may be in for another series that could go to at least six games or even seven–mainly depending on when Embiid will be ready.

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
#0 Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics. 50 Nuances/Twitter