In a complete turn of events, Jayson Tatum resurrected out of his early slump and paced the Boston Celtics to hammer a 95-86 Game 6 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers in their Conference Semis bout on Thursday night
Tatum, who bricked all of of shots from first to third frame with 1-of-14 field goals, suddenly flipped the switch and feasted for 16 fourth-quarter points, including a back-to-back treys in the last four-minute mark of regulation to completely allow the C’s to take the full control of endgame.
The All-Star forward authored an exclamation point for Boston to keep their season alive, and a deafening silence on the other hand for the entire Philadelphia and the jam-packed Wells Fargo Center crowd who hoped they’ll finally advance to the Conference Finals for the first time in 22 years.
Both Marcus Smart (22) and Jaylen Brown (17) carried the Celtics’ offensive load for the first three periods prior to Tatum’s late eruption. Meanwhile, Malcolm Brogdon was huge off the bench with 16 points, six rebounds, and two assists.
Phila leaned on both Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey as they had 26 points each. James Harden struggled from his shooting and had 13 points in 4-of-16 shooting but with nine assists, while Tobias Harris was passive throughout the course of the pivotal Game 6 with only two points in one shot made out of seven attempts.
The 76ers were still leading, 83-81, at the final 5:57 of the game. They proceeded to melt and conclude the match shooting 1-of-10 from the field – tallying three total points. They fumbled their 3-2 series edge and the golden opportunity to march to the East Finals after a dominant Game 5 victory in Beantown.
This epic Conference Semifinals showdown between two title heavyweight squads is set to have a dramatic Game 7, with TD Garden staging the win or go home series finale on Sunday.