Philadelphia keeps playoff run alive with huge Game 4 win over Celtics

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Philadelphia pushed ahead in the second half on Monday night to beat the Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, keeping its playoff run alive. (Getty Images)
Philadelphia pushed ahead in the second half on Monday night to beat the Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, keeping its playoff run alive. (Getty Images)

The 76ers weren’t ready to call it quits.

Down 3-0 in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Philadelphia finally finished out a game in its series against the Boston Celtics. Thanks to a dominant second half, the 76ers beat Boston 103-92 on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, keeping their playoff run alive.

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Rozier, Embiid feud in first half

The first quarter came and went with neither team taking an advantage over the other.

Late in the second quarter, with the game still tight, Celtics guard Terry Rozier got called for an offensive foul while attempting to dribble around Philadelphia’s J.J. Reddick. After officials blew the whistle and players started moving down to the other end of the court, Rozier got into it with 76ers big man Joel Embiid.

Embiid went to grab the ball away from Rozier after the play was called dead, which Rozier didn’t like. They quickly had to be pulled away from each other, and officials eventually called a technical foul on both Rozier and Embiid.

Immediately after their scuffle, Embiid went down the court and knocked down a 3-point bucket from the top of the key.

Rozier, though, answered right back, knocking down a 3-pointer of his own on the very next possession.

Neither team pulled ahead after the scuffle and dueling deep balls in the first half. The 76ers entered the locker room at the break with just a small four-point lead.

Brown, Brad Stevens pick up third-quarter technicals

Midway through the third quarter, the 76ers had jumped to a 10-point lead, and were poised to take complete control of the game.

What started out as a brief Boston run to get them back in the game — a quick pair of 3-point buckets and a Rozier layup to bring it back within just four points — resulted in a pair of Celtics technicals, including one on head coach Brad Stevens.

Jalen Brown had just picked up his fifth personal foul, and was walking over to the bench when he was called for a technical foul. Almost immediately after, Stevens calmly was called for a technical foul of his own, resulting in a quick five-point Philadelphia swing.

By the end of the period, Philadelphia held an 11-point lead — its largest of the game at that point and the first time in the series the 76ers led after three quarters.

And while the Celtics made a brief run in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t enough to climb back into the game. The 76ers held on to the lead, and rolled to the 11-point win to take their first game in the series.

T.J. McConnell shows up

Dario Saric led the 76ers with 25 points and eight rebounds on Monday. The real story, though, came from T.J. McConnell.

McConnell, who had just 12 points combined in the first three games of the series, finished with a career-high 19 points, shooting 9-of-12 from the field. And, perhaps more importantly, he held Rozier to just 11 points on the night.

Ben Simmons added 19 points for the 76ers, and Embiid finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Jason Tatum led the Celtics with 20 points, going 7-of-16 from the field. Marcus Morris had 17, and Marcus Smart added 14.

Up Next: Game 5

The Celtics, who now lead 3-1, will attempt to close out the series on Wednesday night at TD Garden in Boston and reach the Eastern Conference finals.

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