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Jayson Tatum, Celtics bounce back, beat Sixers in Game 3

May 5, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) shoots a three point basket over Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) during the second quarter of game three of the 2023 NBA playoff at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Jayson Tatum collected 27 points and 10 rebounds to fuel the visiting Boston Celtics to a 114-102 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Tatum bounced back from a seven-point performance in Game 2 by making 10 of 20 shots from the floor for the second-seeded Celtics, who have won two games in a row to claim a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia.

Boston’s Jaylen Brown recorded 23 points and seven rebounds and Al Horford sank five 3-pointers while finishing with 17 points and seven rebounds. Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon each had 15 points and Derrick White added 13 for the Celtics.

Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid collected 30 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks after being honored prior to the game for winning the NBA MVP award.

James Harden produced 16 points to go along with 11 assists despite struggling from the floor in his second straight game for the third-seeded 76ers. Harden made just 3 of 14 shots from the floor on Friday and is 5-for-28 overall and 2-for-13 from 3-point range following his 45-point performance in the series opener.

Tatum’s driving layup early in the fourth quarter gave Boston its largest lead of the game at 90-77. Philadelphia countered with a 19-10 run to get within 100-96 with 3:51 left following an Embiid tip-in.

Boston scored the next five points before Harden sank a 3-pointer. Tatum answered with a trey of his own with 1:42 to play to give the Celtics a 108-99 edge.

Harden made one of two free-throw attempts to trim the Celtics’ lead to eight, but Tatum and Brown each converted a pair from the charity stripe to seal the win.

Boston bolted out of the blocks by making its first four 3-point tries and 6 of 10 attempts from beyond the arc to take a 24-14 lead. Philadelphia countered by scoring 11 straight points and 15 of the final 19 in the period to claim a 29-28 lead.

The Celtics countered by outscoring the 76ers by a 29-21 margin in the second quarter to seize 57-50 advantage at halftime. Melton sank a 3-pointer just before Horford answered from behind the arc just before the buzzer.

–Field Level Media

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