Celtics are 5-4 in playoffs when Tatum, Brown combine 60 points


The Boston Celtics are 37-8 in the regular season when Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combine for 60 points, but now they’re 5-4 in the playoffs after combining for 60. Perhaps the once unstoppable duo is a bit overhyped. Boston now trails 3-2 in their second-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

In the Celtics’ 115-103 loss at home in Game 5, the Sixers outscored the Celtics 33-26 in the opening quarter and 30-23 in the third. Philly led by as many as 21 points in the fourth. More importantly, the C’s entered this matchup as an eight-point favorite.

According to a few NBA betting sites, the Celtics have fourth-shortest odds to win the championship. After losing Game 5, sportsbooks dropped Boston below the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Sixers.

Jayson Tatum ended his Game 5 outing with 36 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and two steals in 40 minutes of action. Plus, the four-time All-Star missed a number of shots, shooting 11-of-27 (40.7%) from the field and 3-of-11 (27.3%) beyond the arc. Tatum scored 15 points in the first half, but he shot 1-of-6 from 3-point range.

“I think we just didn’t have it today,” Tatum said. Boston shot 5-of-19 from deep in the opening 24 minutes. The Celtics’ 103 points were their fewest of this postseason. It was also their fewest points against the 76ers since their 103-101 regular-season loss on Apr. 4.

Celtics are 29 games above .500 in the regular season when Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combine for 60 points, now they’re 5-4 in the playoffs

Likewise, Jaylen Brown closed out his performance with 24 points, six boards, and two assists in 35 minutes played. Brown shot 9-of-16 (56.3%) from the floor, 3-of-6 (50%) outside the arc, and 3-of-8 (37.5%) at the foul line. It was not the best night for Boston’s star players.

The Celtics allowed MVP winner Joel Embiid to post a third-straight 30-point game. “We’ve been in this position before,” said Al Horford, who finished with five boards, four assists, two steals, and one block. “It’s not ideal. But we still have an opportunity. We understand what it takes to go on the road on Thursday.

“We have to make sure that we’re getting back in transition, containing them, then really making sure that we’re not giving them so many open looks. I feel like they got really good looks from the 3-point line, and that’s something that we need to address.” The Celtics shot 12-of-38 (31.6%) from downtown, whereas the 76ers finished 12-of-30 (40%).

Philadelphia will have a great chance to close out the series at home in Game 6 on Thursday night. Though, sportsbooks show the Sixers as a two-point underdog. The 76ers are aiming to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001.

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