NBA playoffs roundup: Joel Embiid, Sixers overpower Celtics in Game 5

Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

NBA playoffs roundup: Joel Embiid, Sixers overpower Celtics in Game 5

76ers 115, Celtics 103

Joel Embiid scored 33 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and blocked four shots to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 115-103 road victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Tuesday night.

Tyrese Maxey added 30 points and seven rebounds for Philadelphia, which leads the best-of-seven series 3-2. The 76ers can wrap up the series on Thursday when Game 6 will be played in Philadelphia.

The 76ers received 17 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds from James Harden, while Tobias Harris contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Jayson Tatum led Boston with 36 points and 10 rebounds. Jaylen Brown (24) and Marcus Smart (14) were the only other Celtics who scored in double figures.

The 76ers never trailed after the first quarter, and the lead never dipped below nine in the second half.

Boston was within 11 points early in the fourth quarter, but Philadelphia went up 98-81 on an Embiid 3-pointer with 8:33 to play. The 76ers took a 113-92 lead — their largest advantage of the series — on a Maxey 3-pointer with 3:57 remaining.

Boston’s Al Horford missed each of his seven 3-point attempts and didn’t score in the game.

Philadelphia had a 49-36 edge in rebounds, and Boston shot 39.8% from the field (33-of-83). The 76ers hit 50.6% (40-of-79).

Philadelphia led 33-26 after one quarter, then opened the second quarter on a 7-0 run. The Celtics closed the half with an 8-3 spurt but trailed 58-49 entering the third.

Embiid had 21 points and five rebounds in the first half. Tatum missed his first six shots on the night but had 15 points at the break.

The 76ers stretched their nine-point halftime lead to 18 points on two Harden free throws with 2:44 left in the third, then went up by 19 on a Maxey layup with 29 seconds left in the period. Boston trailed 88-72 with 12 minutes to play.

The Celtics took their third loss in six home playoff games this season. The 76ers improved to 4-1 on the road in the postseason.

Nuggets 118, Suns 102

Nikola Jokic had 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists, Bruce Brown scored 25 points off the bench, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Phoenix Suns 118-102 in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal series on Tuesday night.

Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray each scored 19 points, and Aaron Gordon finished with 10 for the Nuggets, who lead the best-of-seven series 3-2.

Game 6 is Thursday night in Phoenix.

Kevin Durant had 26 points and 11 rebounds, Devin Booker scored 28 points, and Deandre Ayton added 14 points and nine rebounds for the Suns.

After a close first half, Denver took control in a chippy third quarter. The Nuggets went ahead 69-53 with a 17-4 run to open the second half and kept increasing their advantage. Two free throws by Murray and a floater in the lane, and a finger roll by Jokic made it 77-57 with 4:46 left in the period.

The Suns got within 17 and had a chance to cut the deficit further, but a Murray steal led to a 6-2 run and an 89-68 lead late in the third.

Things got heated with 37.6 seconds left in the third when Brown and Jokic were hovering near the Phoenix huddle and Durant elbowed Jokic, who flailed back.

Brown and Durant were each assessed a technical foul.

Denver took a 91-74 lead into the fourth quarter and then went on an immediate run to essentially put the game away.

Brown hit a 3-pointer and split a pair of free throws, and Murray drained a 28-foot trey to put the Nuggets ahead 98-74. The Suns scored six straight points to get back within 18, but Brown hit two free throws, Murray banked in a 12-footer, and Christian Braun had a steal and a dunk to make it 104-80 with 7:48 left.

Booker hit a 3-pointer, but Jokic fed Gordon for an alley-oop dunk, giving Jokic his 10th assist of the night and fourth triple-double of the postseason.

The Nuggets led 35-20 late in the first quarter, but Phoenix rallied to take its only lead at 48-47 late in the second on a Terrence Ross 3-pointer. Denver went into halftime up 52-49.

–Field Level Media contributed to this story

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