Twitter reacts to Celtics' thrilling Game 5 win over Philly

The 76ers would not get a final shot off, giving the Celtics the win.

They played the final 87 seconds of the Game 5 clincher like there was no tomorrow.

And just when it looked like the Celtics would be headed back to The City of Brotherly Love, Marcus Smart tied the game with a tip-in and fed Jayson Tatum for the go-ahead layup with 20 seconds left.

Once an undrafted free agent out of Arizona, McConnell was the Sixers' most effective player in Game 4, tallying a career-high 19 points and turning the ball over zero times in 39 minutes.

"This was Game 7, and we treated it as such", Brown said. "We have to go home and protect ours". We didn't want to keep building their momentum. "We weren't very good (in Game 4)".

It might have been more ideal for Boston if Smart had made the first free throw and missed the second, potentially creating an offensive rebound or forcing a rushed Sixers' possession.

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This Celtics team is growing and developing right before our eyes and like I said, this is without their two best players. Now the series is back in Boston, with the No. 2 seed Celtics looking to close things out and move on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers. "Our guys really fought".

To the surprise of no one in a Celtics uniform, it was Smart. Horford dominated in the post, Rozier got a layup in transition, and the Celtics led by six with 5:27 left, forcing a Philadelphia timeout. With less than 30 seconds left in overtime, Joel Embiid missed a jumper and Simmons rebounded the ball with 18 seconds left on the clock.

Both players, however, have shown their youth and limitations against a more experienced and better coached Boston team.

It's not as if Boston has dominated the series: the 76ers led by 22 points in a 108-103 loss in Game 2 and led Game 3 by six late in the second quarter.

The Sixers ended up attempting only three three-pointers in the first quarter, making the one by McConnell.

Brad Stevens inserted Brown into the starting lineup for Marcus Smart and it immediately paid off.

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"It is just something not everybody has, that fire within him", Simmons said. He didn't care if he got hurt - he was coming down with the ball.

This semifinals series highlighted the maturity of rookie Jayson Tatum (25 points), the progress of second-year guard Jaylen Brown (24) and the emergence of point guard Terry Rozier (17). Last year, Golden State was an incredible 12-0 on their way to the Finals and turned every series into a laugher. "We're continuing to prove people wrong".

"I was just out there having fun".

"It [stinks], but we got to learn from it and come back and do better", Embiid said.

The Celtics extended the lead to as many as 12 in the third before the 76ers rallied within one heading to the fourth. In each game the victor of the third quarter has gone on to win the game.

Boston held a double-digit lead early in the third quarter but saw it evaporate in the fourth quarter thanks to strong play from Joel Embiid (27 points) and Dario Saric (27 points).

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  • Jill Young