TERRY Rozier led a pivotal run late in the fourth quarter as the Boston Celtics overcame an early 22-point deficit to stun the Philadelphia 76ers, 108-103, for a 2-0 lead in their second round series on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
The Celtics fell behind big early behind a sizzling start from the Sixers’ JJ Redick, but Boston started fighting back and taking its first taste of the lead near the midway point of the third.
The Sixers appeared to regain control halfway through the fourth with a five-point lead before Rozier scored eight and dished a big assist on a Jayson Tatum jam in a telling 16-4 blitz down the stretch to take back the lead, 104-97, with a less than two minutes left.
Philadelphia got the gap down to three before Al Horford scored on an easy layup past Joel Embiid and Tatum wrapped things up for the Celtics with crucial free throws.
Tatum led the Celtics with 21 points, while Rozier and Marcus Smart scored 20 and 19 respectively. Horford chipped in a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Jaylen Brown returned to score 13 off the bench before appearing to hurt his hamstring again late in the game.
Redick scored 13 of his game-high 23 in the first quarter for the Sixers, while Robert Covington added 22. Joel Embiid had a double-double of 20 markers and 14 boards, but Ben Simmons ended up with just a measly point to go with seven assists and five rebounds.