PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers squeaked out a win in Game 4 against the Boston Celtics…somehow. The Sixers led by 16 at one point, then trailed by five with two minutes left, then finished the job in overtime to tie up the series before it heads back to Boston.
James Harden had another playoff masterclass. Joel Embiid got off to a great start before, by his own admission, struggling down the stretch. Al Horford’s defense started making his life very tough in the fourth quarter, allowing Boston to make a run before Harden saved the day. The Sixers’ MVP center shot just 11-26 from the field.
“The other day was my first time really going up and down,” Embiid said. “Tonight, playing a lot of minutes kind of got to me towards the end. Got it back in overtime and started being aggressive again. Obviously, had no lift with the brace and all.” Embiid played over 46 minutes as he continues to recover from an LCL sprain, wearing a big brace on his right knee to allow him to play.
“But you know, we made the plans when we needed them,” Embiid continued. “P.J., a big and-one offensive rebound. Obviously, the James shot. They made a lot of tough shots all night. I thought we stuck with it. But that’s been us all season long. Just sticking together, fighting through anything — being down five with two minutes left — that’s huge for us. We know we didn’t play our best. And I was terrible tonight. I gotta be better. And I will be better.”
The Sixers’ resilience has been a recurring, new theme this season. P.J. Tucker’s edge — shown on his massive layup and how he went right up to Embiid after the play to tell him to stay aggressive — has given Philly a competitive fire that the team hasn’t had in a while.
Embiid is always one to point the finger at himself when he has to be better. He played spectacular defense, shook off his late struggles to stay locked in, made the pass on the game-winning shot and forced Jayson Tatum to pass to Marcus Smart, who failed to get the shot up in time, on the three-point line on the final possession. But even with 34 points and 13 rebounds on his final stat line, he knows he has more to give.
The post ‘I was terrible tonight’: Joel Embiid’s brutally honest admission after Sixers’ thrilling Game 4 win vs. Celtics appeared first on ClutchPoints.