Simmons Has Horror Game In Loss To Celtics

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The problems for the 76ers really started off with their top talent, and that is not something the Celtics are worrying about.

After Thursday's 108-103 loss to the Boston Celtics that put the 76ers down 2-0 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal, Sixers coach Brett Brown was defiant when discussing his strategy. But the more they thought about it ... well, they did sit through a six-day break after subduing Miami in five opening-round games.

Facing a 2-0 deficit in their best-of-seven series against the Celtics, the pressure is mounting on Sixers head coach Brent Brown to find a way to slow down Boston's blistering offense before Game 3 in Philadelphia. Philadelphia led by as many as 22, before falling apart late.

Celtics' "X-Factor" Al Horford posted a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double, while shooting 55.5 percent from the field.

"I think their speed at times does bother us", Brown admitted after Game 2.

The Celtics were led by Jayson Tatum's 21 points. He knocked down a pair of threes in the final 1:42 of the half that almost blew the roof off the TD Garden. "They definitely punched us in the mouth in the beginning of the game and we just had to bounce back and get things together". It was initially called a three on the floor but changed at halftime. A string of threes from Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown helped cut the Sixers lead down to five by halftime as part of a 25-8 run as the Sixers clung to a 56-51 lead heading into the half.

The Celtics have formed a new look big three with some greatness contributions from the supporting cast.

"The first play of the game, or when I first got in, I got a breakaway and did everything to aggravate it I guess", he said.

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"Obviously all players want to play and get back out on the court and then our medical team needs to make that decision to give them the OK or not, and then I wait for the text message that says he's available to play or the email that say he's available to play". The energy was insane. "But I think that the confidence I have in that group has been earned and is not something we sort of construct in our mind". Boston went on a 15-4 run from there, punctuated by a Rozier-Tatum alley-oop with 3:06 left.

"I'm going to have bad games; it happens", Simmons said.

If Simmons had offered Philly anything offensively, they would've secured a win as they had three players score 20+ points each.

After going down by 22 in the second quarter, the Celtics went on a 50-20 surge which saw them take their first lead in the third period.

Stopping the Sixers could be an issue for the Celtics, as five Philly players, led by JJ Redick (20 points), are averaging 16.5 or more points in the postseason. The Celtics are 23-8 in Game 7 overall.

In the meantime, will the Celtics take a 3-0 lead when these two sides meet again. Entering this postseason, teams that lost the first two games of a best-of-seven series on the road have won only 6 percent of those series (15-236), according to the National Basketball Association.

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