Wednesday, October 4 2023

BOSTON–The Philadelphia 76ers were looking to build off a shocking Game 1 win over the Boston Celtics and looking to get a little greedy before things shifted to Philadelphia.

Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t knock down any open looks.

The Sixers shot just 39.2% from the floor and 6-for-30 from deep as they fell to the Celtics 121-87 in Game 2. The series is now tied 1-1 as Boston showed off a lot of pride in this one.

James Harden, the hero of Game 1, had a rough go at it in Game 2. He scored just 12 points on 2-for-14 shooting and he was 0-for-6 from deep. He did have some bad luck involved as he had a few triples pop back out after they were halfway down, but it was a rough night.

When asked if it was anything the Celtics did, Harden brushed it off.

“No,” he said. “Our spacing wasn’t right and this is a make-or-miss league. They didn’t really start making shots until that third quarter, and then they went on that big run. For us, we’ve just got to do a better job of knowing where we are on the floor and just allowing each other to have space and to generate shots — easier shots.”

Along with Harden’s struggles, Tyrese Maxey was 1-for-4 from deep, Joel Embiid was 0-for-2, and Georges Niang only made one triple.

“We didn’t move the ball,” said coach Doc Rivers. “Offensively, we were pretty bad, but give them credit. Their ball pressure ate us up all night. I thought they pressured us, they denied us, they played in our air space all game.”

In terms of how they can get back to the way they played in Game 1, the spacing on offense is going to be the biggest key for them.

“I think that’s for the whole group to figure out,” said Tobias Harris. “Spacing and creating driving lanes, that’s the biggest thing for us. We can figure out different ways to gain more spacing. I think obviously, that starts with getting stops and getting out and running … allowing us to push the pace out there. Outside of that, just getting that ball hopping around and moving.”

Game 3 is Friday in Philadelphia.


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