After a narrow Game 1 win, the Boston Celtics turned up the heat in Game 2, cruising to a comfortable 128-101 win over the Philadelphia 76ers to take a 2-0 series lead.
Jayson Tatum led the charge for the second-straight game, setting a new playoff career-high with 33 points, while Kemba Walker added 22 points and Jaylen Brown 20.
Here are the key takeaways from today's game:
Tatum continues offensive tear
Through two games, the Celtics trio of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker have been firing on all cylinders, today combining for 75 of the Celtics' 128 points.
Tatum was again the star of the show, with his back-to-back 30-point games makes him the youngest Celtics player to score 30+ in consecutive playoff games.
FROM ELIAS: Jayson Tatum is the youngest Celtics player to score 30 points in consecutive playoff games. He surpasses Larry Bird, who did so in 3 straight games from April 12-22, 1981 pic.twitter.com/2qvsKjJG0h- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 20, 2020
Tatum shot 12-of-20 from the field and 8-of-12 from the 3-point line - the most ever in a single playoff game by a player 22 years old or younger.
The previous best by a player 22 years old or younger was LeBron James with seven, followed by Kobe Bryant with six. Some elite company for the rising star.
Jayson Tatum's 8 made 3's are tied for 2nd most by a Celtics player in a postseason game. Ray Allen holds the record with 9 pic.twitter.com/eetIOmmK6Z- Max Lederman (@Max_Lederman) August 20, 2020
Embiid takes charge, supporting cast struggles
Without Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid has to be the focal point of Philly's offence and after only taking 15 shots in Game 1, he was much more assertive in Game 2, recording 34 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists on 11-of-21 shooting from the field and 12-of-13 from the free-throw line.
.@sixers @JoelEmbiid's 15 first-quarter points (6-9 FG) are the most he's scored in a single period in his playoff career.- Sixers Stats (@SixersStats) August 19, 2020
His previous high was 13 in the 3Q against @BrooklynNets on 4/15/19.
Embiid was aggressive from the jump, scoring scored 9 of the 76ers' first 13 points, attacking in the pick-and-roll, pounding the ball down low, and not settling for jumpers. He only attempted two 3-pointers on the night. (0-of-2).
The big man did his job, but the 76ers supporting cast struggled to get going offensively. Josh Richardson scored 18 points and Shake Milton 14, but the duo of Al Horford and Tobias Harris combined to shoot just 6-of-18 from the field as Harris finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds and Horford just four points and two rebounds.
76ers lineup change
Head coach Brett Brown opted to bring Matisse Thybulle into the starting lineup in place of Al Horford in the hopes of slowing down Jayson Tatum.
In Game 1, Tatum only scored four points on 2-for-9 shooting, while being guarded by Thybulle, but in Game 2 Tatum couldn't be stopped.
While Thybulle did a solid job staying in front of Tatum, the Celtics star was still able to get to his spots and knock down shots, burying eight 3-pointers on the night. Stopping Tatum is going to take a collective effort from the 76ers, who tried to force the ball out of his hands, but Boston's red-hot shooting night from deep was too much to overcome.
The Celtics connected on 19-of-43 attempts from deep, while Philly managed just 5-of-21.
weavin through the defense for two pic.twitter.com/BUonIt2dkr- Boston Celtics (@celtics) August 19, 2020
The two teams will square off again in less than 48 hours for a pivotal Game 3 on Saturday, August 22 at 4:00 a.m. IST.
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