Our Thursday NBA playoffs preview highlights Game 5 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals, with the Celtics looking to close out the series.
10:00 (AEST), Thu 10th May @ TD Garden, Boston
History: Played 548: Celtics 315 V 76ers 233.
Last meeting: May 7, 2018: 76ers 103 d Celtics 92 at Wells Fargo Center.
Final Thoughts: The Philadelphia 76ers are coming off a clutch win but are still fighting for their season, down 3-1 in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals against the Boston Celtics and facing a tough Game 5 assignment at TD Garden.
The Celtics won the first three games of the series – 117-101 and 108-103 at home, and a 101-98 overtime win in Philadelphia – before the Sixers kept it alive with a 103-92 success at Wells Fargo Center in Game 4.
Dario Saric top-scored with 25 points for the 76ers, while Ben Simmons (19 pts, 13 reb) and Joel Embiid (15 pts, 13 reb) both racked up double-doubles.
But any psychological edge the Sixers may have gained with that last-start victory should be evened out by the Celtics’ home-court advantage.
Boston have won 17 of their last 20 games against Philadelphia, including nine of the last 10 at TD Garden. The Celtics are 6-0 at home in these playoffs and have won 10 of their last 11 as hosts.
The 76ers entered this series on a nine-game winning streak on the road – winning both away games in the first round against the Heat – but their twin losses in Boston last week will be firm in both teams’ minds.
The archrivals are neck-and-neck in the head-to-head stakes, which puts Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Marcus Morris and the plucky Celtics in a strong position value-wise.