Sixers split home stretch with Celtics, head to Boston tied at 2 games each

Which James Harden can fans expect to see moving forward?


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Embiid holding up the MVP award on Sunday night

Aaron Rigby, Sports Editor

The Sixers will head back to Boston with the series tied at two games a piece, after splitting their home stretch 1-1.

After getting blown off of the court in game two, the Sixers returned to the Wells Fargo Center, where Joel Embiid was given his first career MVP award. 

Following an emotional speech from one of the best basketball players on the planet, one would think it would motivate his teammates to show up and handle business on their home floor. However, Embiid, who has been wearing a knee brace for extra protection on the knee he sprained in Game three vs the Brooklyn Nets, was the only one who showed up.

Game three was close up until late in the second quarter, where the Celtics went on a run and never looked back. Embiid finished the game with 30 and 13, and none of his teammates did much of anything. James Harden finished with the second most points for the Sixers, with 16. Tyrese Maxey was also a no-show, scoring 13 points while playing 40 minutes. 

Meanwhile for the Celtics, Jayson Tatum stepped up after scoring a horrendous seven points in the Celtics game two victory. Tatum dropped 27 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Jaylen Brown, who has 23 and 7. 

Heading into game four, all eyes were on James Harden, who was under immense pressure after an awful game 3 performance. Harden had some plays in game 3 that reminded some Sixers fans of the time Ben Simmons passed up on a wide open dunk. Harden seemed to be in his own head, quickly slumping after an amazing game 1 performance. 

Surprisingly, Harden shut down all the deniers with an outstanding game two performance, similar to his performance in game one. Harden once again scored more than 40 points, scoring 42 points in an overtime thriller. Once again, mirroring game one, Harden hit a clutch go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime, which ended up being the game winner. Embiid played great once again, putting up 34 points and 13 boards. 

Despite being up by double digits heading into half time, and being up for most of the game, the Sixers were continuously failing to hit big shots that would have put the Celtics away, avoiding a potential overtime. Because of this, the Celtics were able to climb back into the game and were up by two with 20 seconds left in regulation. Thanks to a clutch floater by Harden, the game went into overtime. 

With the Sixers trailing 115-113 with 26 seconds remaining in overtime, Embiid drove to the paint, and began to post up Tatum, and Jaylen Brown left the corner to help double team Embiid, leaving James Harden uncontested in the corner. 

Embiid passed out to Harden, where he knocked down the three pointer to put the Sixers up by one. Even though the Celtics had two timeouts, head coach Joe Mazzulla elected not to call a timeout with 18 seconds remaining. Tatum held the ball at half court until the five second mark, when he decided to drive in the paint on Embiid and kick out to Marcus Smart, who had a good look at a three pointer that went in, but he did not let go of the ball on time. 

The 3-pointer did not count, and the 76ers won the game. Game five is tonight at 7:30 p.m. on TNT, and according to, when a series is tied 2-2 in a best of seven series, winners of game five go on to win the series 82.8% of the time. This is a Harden and Embiid legacy game, we will find out if Embiid and the Sixers finally defeat the Boston Celtics in a playoff series.