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Boston Celtics

NBA Playoffs 2020: Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown power Boston Celtics past Philadelphia 76ers to take 1-0 series lead

The Boston Celtics strike first in Orlando, holding off the Philadelphia 76ers to secure a 109-101 win and take a 1-0 series lead.

The Celtics' young star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 61 points, becoming the first Celtics teammates both 23 or younger with 25 points in the same playoff game.

For more on this highly competitive, Game 1 between the Celtics and 76ers, we have you covered with takeaways below.

Tatum and Brown lead the way

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown did the heavy lifting on offence for the Celtics, combining of over half of their points in a tight battle against the 76ers.

Tatum poured in a playoff career-high 32 points on 10-of-21 shooting from the field and 2-of-5 from deep, adding 13 rebounds, becoming the youngest Celtic ever with 30 and 10 in a playoff game.

Meanwhile, Brown added 29 points, six rebounds, and four assists on the night.

Tatum was a +19 in the game, getting it done on both ends, earning praise from head coach Brad Stevens for his two-way effort.

"I thought he was unbelievable defensively the entire game," Stevens said of Tatum post-game.

Philly refused to go quietly in this one, closing the gap to 103-100, but Tatum iced the game, burying two free throws after getting fouled on a drive to the rim with 41 seconds to go.

Kemba Walker added 19 points and five assists on the night. Gordon Hayward chipped in 12 before exiting the game in the fourth quarter with a right ankle sprain.

More needed from Embiid as turnovers plague 76ers

All eyes are on Joel Embiid this series as the 76ers look to find their rhythm without Ben Simmons, who is expected to miss the remainder of the season.

The All-Star big man got off to a fast start against the Celtics, scoring 11 points in the first quarter on his way to 26 points and 16 rebounds, marking his 11th 20-10 playoff game since 2018.

After trailing 55-49 at the half, the 76ers roared back into the contest late in the third quarter, closing the period on a 13-0 run with Embiid on the bench, but ran out of steam down the stretch.

The Celtics zeroed in on Embiid defensively in the fourth quarter, limiting his touches near the rim, with some scrappy defence as he scored just seven points in the final frame.

'I got to do more," Embiid said post-game.

"Whatever the stats are, I got to do more. I got one job to do - carry us. I got to take more shots, be more aggressive and defensively, help my teammates.

Embiid accounted for five of the 76ers 18 turnovers, which proved costly in this one as the Celtics turned those into 21 points. Boston committed just seven turnovers for the game.

Tobias Harris added 15 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists, while Josh Richardson and Alec Burks added 18 points apiece.

Hayward injury

The Celtics will be sweating on the health of Gordon Hayward after he exited the game in the fourth quarter, with 3:08 remaining, due to a right ankle sprain.

Postgame, head coach Brad Stevens indicated that Hayward's ankle was swollen but the severity of the injury is still unknown. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews, Hayward is set to undergo MRI later today.

In 35 minutes on court, Hayward finished with 12 points, four rebounds, four steals, and three assists.

What's next?

These two teams are back at it in less than 48 hours, with Game 2 on deck for Thursday, August 20 at 4:00 a.m. IST.

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