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|BOSTON — The Philadelphia 76ers know things aren’t very complicated as they head into Thursday night’s Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at TD Garden.
“We’ve got to be better. That’s the bottom line Shane Ray Jersey ,” 76ers guard JJ Redick said Tuesday. “We’ve got to be better offensively, better defensively. There’s no overreaction on our part.”
The Celtics, the second seeds in the East, cruised to a 117-101 victory over Philadelphia in Game 1 on Monday night as Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford combined for 83 points, 18 rebounds and 12 assists — Boston’s fourth win in five games against their long-time rivals this season.
The 76ers, in their first postseason since 2012, went 5-for-26 from 3-point range and played shoddy defense to fall behind in the opener.
“Defensively, we were trash,” said center Joel Embiid Cory Littleton Jersey , who had 31 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in the loss. “They made a lot of shots. We didn’t. We’ve got a lot of good shooters. Everyone has off nights, so Thursday’s going to be a different story. We just have to correct a couple stuff defensively and we’re going to be fine.”
The Celtics, again playing without a starter — Jaylen Brown was out with a hamstring injury — controlled the game but know they have to be ready for what’s next.
“Of course, I am. This is the playoffs,” said Marcus Smart, whose energy and nine assists were keys to the win. “That team has been doing some extraordinary things. I don’t expect nothing less than them to bring everything that they have. We’re going to be ready for it.”
Smart, returning from right thumb surgery, was clearly in pain at times in Game 1 and said he is going to a more comfortable splint in Game 2.
The Celtics needed seven games — all won by the home team — to dispose of the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, improving to 36-0 all-time when leading a series 2-0. Like the Bucks Case Keenum Jersey , the Syracuse/Philadelphia franchise has never won a series when trailing 0-2 (0-14).
Boston leads the all-time playoff series in the NBA’s most-repeated matchup by a 12-7 count.
Markelle Fultz, the rookie taken as the No. 1 pick in the draft after the trade with the Celtics, didn’t get off the bench in Game 1, but Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said Tuesday that doesn’t mean you won’t see him at all.
“There are times where you for sure think about (playing Fultz),” Brown said. “… But I got a decision to make, and I’ve made a decision. That doesn’t mean it’s etched in stone. It’s always something that you review and think about. And the care for Markelle Fultz and his future is always on my mind.”
While Fultz missed most of his rookie season, Ben Simmons, who missed what should have been his rookie season in 2016-17, had a strong Year 2. Celtics fans serenaded him with chants of “Not a rookie” on Monday while rewarding Tatum, their own rookie Carlos Henderson Jersey , with chants of “He’s a rookie.”
Simmons, who didn’t have a good Game 1, said the chanting didn’t bother him.
“I don’t care. It doesn’t affect me at all,” Simmons said after the opener.
And Tatum, on the battle of top rookies? “At this point, I’m just focused on winning, not really matchups,” Tatum said. “Just win. It’s really a team thing right now.”
Jaylen Brown, hurt in Game 7 of the first round, is improving and could see action Thursday after working out Wednesday. He was officially listed as doubtful for Game 2.
However Nick Kwiatkoski Jersey , the Celtics, who made it 4-0 at TD Garden in the playoffs with the opening win, are conscious of bringing him back at the right time.
The series shifts to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4.
“We can play a lot better,” said Rozier, who has emerged as a star with Kyrie Irving joining Gordon Hayward and rookie Daniel Theis on the sideline for the rest of the season. “We had a lot of points that we gave up. We could have played even better offense. That’s the scary thing.”
The Dallas Cowboys have offered a second-round tender worth $2.9 million to defensive end David Irving. The one-year offer on the opening day of free agency Wednesday means the Cowboys will get a second-round pick if another team signs Irving. Dallas can also match any offer.
Irving was suspended the first four games last season for violating the NFL's ban on performance enhancers and missed the last four with a concussion. In between, he had seven sacks in eight games, second on the team behind Pro Bowl selection DeMarcus Lawrence.
The Cowboys signed Irving off Kansas City's practice squad in 2015. The 24-year-old has 11 sacks over three seasons in Dallas.
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