The Boston Celtics finish this series at home.
Led by Marcus Smart and the awakening of Jason Tatum in the fourth quarter, the Celtics kept the season going Thursday with a 95-86 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The series will be decided by Game 7 in Boston on Sunday.
Smart led the team in scoring with 22 points as well as 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals, but the game hinged on Tatum scoring 16 points in the fourth quarter after only getting 3 in the previous 36 minutes.
Tatum alone outscored the Sixers 16-13 the entire quarter, and also finished with 9 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
“Humily, I’m one of the best basketball players in the world,” Tatum said he said after the game. “Get through the tough times, get through the slumps, it’s a long game. Luckily I’ve got some great teammates who keep it going.”
The Celtics held a double-digit lead for most of the first half, but the Sixers stormed back in front of a raucous crowd shortly after halftime. The game tightened later in the third quarter, and no team led by more than two points until Tatum led a Celtics rally late in the fourth quarter.
Joel Embiid and Therese Maxe tied for the game lead with 26 points each, on 18 of 39 combined shots, but the Sixers as a whole had a miserable night on offense, with 36.1% shooting from the field.