Jayson Tatum scored a playoff career-high 51 points, including 17 in the third quarter, to lead the Boston Celtics to a 112-88 rout of the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday night.
The Celtics, who will face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals, have now won 10 of their last 11 games.
Tatum shot 17-for-28 from the field, including 6-for-10 from three-point range, and added 13 rebounds and five assists. Jaylen Brown added 25 points for the Celtics.
Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 15 points, but he was held to just 5-for-12 shooting from the field. James Harden had nine points and seven assists.
The Sixers led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter, but the Celtics took control of the game in the second quarter, outscoring the Sixers 33-19. The Celtics led by as many as 28 points in the third quarter and never looked back.
The Celtics are now 12-2 in their last 14 games. They will face the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals, which will begin on Tuesday night in Boston.
Here are some other key takeaways from Game 7:
- Tatum’s performance was one of the greatest in NBA playoff history. His 51 points are the most ever scored in a Game 7, and his 17 points in the third quarter are the most ever scored in a quarter in a Game 7.
- The Celtics’ defense was suffocating in Game 7. They held the Sixers to just 36.7% shooting from the field and 25% shooting from three-point range.
- The Sixers’ season is over. They had high hopes of reaching the NBA Finals this year, but they were unable to overcome the Celtics’ hot shooting and suffocating defense.