Celtics dominate Sixers in Game 2 with their most important trait: consistency

Markelle Fultz is not 'dead and buried' for NBA playoffs, Sixers' coach Brett Brown insists

Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers: In Jaylen Brown's absence, Celtics continue to step up

Looking down the road with the way these two teams are presently constructed they could face each other several times in the playoffs.

Brown's lobbying efforts worked, and the Celtics needed all the second-year wing player had to offer in escaping with a 108-103 Game 2 win over Philadelphia after trailing the Sixers by 22 points - their largest comeback win in the playoffs in almost a decade (2008 NBA Finals, Game 4 when they trailed by 24 points).

The Celtics hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven match-up, with the next two games in Philadelphia. Marcus Smart finished 19 points and five rebounds as the Celtics improved to 5-0 at TD Garden this postseason. Jaylen Brown, who missed Game 1 with a hamstring injury, came off the bench to score 13 points.

J.J. Redick and the 76ers came roaring right back with a 13-4 run, to take a 24-14 lead with 2:41 left in the first. Here's a look at three takeaways from their Game 2 performance against the Celtics. Scrappy is one way to describe the Celtics after they trailed by as many as 22 points in the first quarter before storming back to take the lead in the second half. Before the morning shootaround, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens hinted that Brown wouldn't be able to go and even if he was able to go it sounded like it would be very limited.

"When I first got in, I got a breakaway and did everything to aggravate it I guess".

Boston eventually found its stride in the first frame, but ultimately closed the quarter trailing Philly 31-22.

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As for their own three-point shooting, most Sixers continued to work on it after practice. "Obviously, it's not the flawless timing".

"I can make those (3-pointers), but that's not my game", Embiid said. To say the Sixers were hot from beyond the arc would be a huge understatement.

Boston will head to Philadelphia with a two-game lead as they'll play two-straight in Philly on Saturday and Monday.

3-Point Goals-Cleveland 11-26 (Green 4-6, Smith 2-3, Love 2-6, Korver 1-2, James 1-3, Clarkson 1-4, Hill 0-2), Toronto 12-30 (VanVleet 4-7, Lowry 3-6, Miles 2-2, Wright 1-2, Brown 1-2, Anunoby 1-3, Powell 0-1, Ibaka 0-1, Valanciunas 0-1, DeRozan 0-5).

The Celtics responded by ending the half on a 25-8 run. Seemingly everyone had their moment during the spirited run, which Brown capped with an alley-oop dunk.

Smart led the Celtics at the half with 13 points, including 3-for-3 from long distance. It is just basketball.I think the way Boston is guarding us in general is something that I respect.

Woods left frustrated after putting woes
Woods three-putted twice for bogey, including the par-3 sixth hole when he had a downhill birdie chance from about 18 feet. It effectively secured two more rounds. "I hit it all right", said Woods, who is tied for 37th. "I made the last putt".

Australian centre Aron Baynes was strong with five points and four rebounds, including a three-pointer in the third quarter that gave Boston their first lead of the game.

Tatum was instrumental in the third, leading the Celtics with 10 points.

BOSTON SEALS ITThe Sixers, to their credit, didn't lay down in the fourth quarter.

If the Sixers can't beat a crippled Boston team, it doesn't bode well for the future balance of power, although Philadelphia has far more cap room available to add more help in the off-season.

The defense locked down during the stretch, forcing Philadelphia to take six of their 10 shots from downtown.

Philadelphia got the gap down to three before Al Horford scored on an easy layup past Joel Embiid and Tatum wrapped things up for the Celtics with crucial free throws.

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Sixers guard Justin Anderson waves his arms against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, February 10, 2018 in Philadelphia. Tatum, this past year's No. 3 overall pick, is averaging 17.0 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists per game.

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