Sports

Closing moments of season-ending playoff loss will motivate Joel Embiid

Closing moments of season-ending playoff loss will motivate Joel Embiid

The roll Philadelphia had been on, coupled with Boston losing Kyrie Irving, and briefly Jaylen Brown, made the Sixers a trendy pick to go from the lottery directly to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Celtics won 114-112 on Wednesday in Boston to take the series 4-1 and move on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The only person standing in Embiid's way was 208cm, 118kg Baynes.

Celtics guard Terry Rosier swooped, knocked the ball and it touched Embiid before going out of bounds.

While Simmons would love to bottle up that production and take it back to Boston for Wednesday's critical Game 5 (8 p.m./TNT), he knows it all starts with the team's approach.

"The feeling right now is I don't want to be done", said a disappointed Simmons, whose lack of confidence shooting from medium and long distance was exposed by the Celtics. A third, Amir Johnson, played 15.8 minutes per game and was not part of the playoff rotation. Embiid, who had talked plenty of trash throughout the series, missed the game-tying shot with 11 seconds remaining and had the rebound bounce off his leg, giving the Celtics possession and control of the game.

On the opening night of the National Basketball Association season, the Celtics played the Cavaliers and the Rockets played the Warriors.

"He has had to really change his game all year", Horford said. Rohrbach says one player in the Celtics locker room said, "at least man up" when discussing Embiid's quick exit to the locker room.

Despite some back-breaking miscues in crunch time of Game 3, Simmons looked more like himself with 16 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and two blocks.

"We haven't made shots and I think if we can click on a night when we are guarding like we have been guarding and then make some shots, that's when we have a chance to be at our best", Brown said.

The Houston Rockets will host the Golden State Warriors in game one of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday.


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