Heading back to Philadelphia down 2-0 to the Boston Celtics Lorenzo Carter Color Rush Jersey , the suddenly cold 76ers have some quick thinking to do in order to right the ship.
After winning 16 straight to close the regular season and finishing off the Miami Heat in five games in the first round, the 76ers now head back to face Boston at the Wells Fargo Center for their 5 p.m. matchup on Saturday with their first two-game losing streak since late February.
Boston clipped the once-surging 76ers in Game 2 with a huge surge of their own, coming back from a 22-point deficit to win on Boston on Thursday, 108-103. 76ers head coach Brett Brown drew criticism for his handling of Boston’s big run. Down 48-26 early in the second quarter, Boston eventually cut the lead to five at the half and took control with a 28-19 third quarter, and Brown chose not to call timeouts with his team bleeding.
“We have the league’s No. 1-rated starting five, is a fact,” he said. “Those five guys have shown great maturity, they have shown they can sustain different types of runs and still hold the fort. There were a few times (when he thought about calling a timeout). I mentioned there was one with (Terry) Rozier with his Euro-step that as I watched in the light of day, that was a moment you could have done it.”
As much criticism as Brown is facing, rookie point guard Ben Simmons might be facing the steepest uphill battle heading into Saturday’s matchup.
Simmons had arguably his worst game as a pro Mitch Haniger Seattle Mariners Jersey , scoring one point on 0-for-4 shooting with five rebounds and seven assists. What’s worse: His negative-23 plus/minus ratio.
Rozier and backcourt mate Marcus Smart, meanwhile, combined for 39 points, 12 assists and 12 rebounds, and Boston got a big 13 points out of Jaylen Brown off the bench.
“I think the Celtics defensive intensity went to a higher level,” Brown said. “I think somewhere at the five-minute mark and we brought Joel (Embiid) and JJ (Redick) back into the game in the second period. We give them credit. They went on a little run and then they went on another run I think at two minutes left.”
Unlike the 76ers, who closed out the regular season with a bang, the Celtics were written off for much of the latter part of the schedule, after losing Kyrie Irving for the season and dropping four of six to close out the year. The Celtics’ seven-game series with Milwaukee in the first round did little to ease the chirping outside of Boston, especially with Philadelphia so hot.
But Brad Stevens’ strategy of resting his starters down the stretch might be paying dividends, as Al Horford and Rozier are averaging 35 or more minutes this series.
“Everyone feels good enough to play high minutes http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/a ... ltz-jersey , which is why the last four games of the regular season were done the way we did,” said Stevens. “I think we had a plan of attack throughout the regular season based on each individual. Obviously we chose some times to rest guys, but not that many, but more so manage it throughout the games. We felt like we were a deep team.”
For both teams, Saturday’s matchup will be a study in short memories.
For the Celtics, they must erase in their minds the 22-point deficit they dug themselves into on Thursday.
For Philadelphia, the bad taste of a squandered double-digit lead must be forgotten. But not, Brown hopes, the lessons they learned.
SAN FRANCISCO — A beanball war between the Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants has the potential to spill over into Wednesday’s series finale, with neither manager saying the book was closed after there were three hit batsmen and two ejections Tuesday night.
The ball will be in the hands of Marlins right-hander Jose Urena (2-8, 4.18 ERA) and Giants lefty Derek Holland (4-7 Authentic Rasmus Dahlin Jersey , 4.48), with each team needing a victory to win the series after splitting a pair of emotional affairs the last two nights.
The Giants avenged Monday’s 5-4 loss with a 6-3 victory on Tuesday that featured Buster Posey hitting a home run and then getting hit by a pitch in his next at-bat.
It was exactly what Marlins manager Don Mattingly had promised when, in the top of the inning, he complained that both teams — not just the Giants — had received a warning when San Francisco starter Dereck Rodriguez hit Lewis Brinson with a pitch.
After a heated exchange with the umpires, Mattingly could be seen telling Posey, “You’re next.” Giants manager Bruce Bochy then jumped out of the dugout, having heard Mattingly tell the umpires, “If not tonight, then tomorrow.”
“I guess they thought they had to do something,” Bochy said of the Marlins, whose three-run James Daniels Color Rush Jersey , ninth-inning rally on Monday night included a key hit by Brinson, who celebrated by yelling at Giants closer Hunter Strickland on his way to first base.
On his way to the dugout after recording his fourth blown save later in the inning, Strickland walked near Brinson and the two exchanged words again.
Moments later, the emotional Strickland punched a door leading to the Giants’ clubhouse, breaking his right hand. He is expected to be out 6-8 weeks.
The Giants suffered a similar injury last week in Miami when third baseman Evan Longoria broke a finger when hit by a pitch.
Despite the warning and already down 3-0, Marlins starter Dan Straily hit Posey in the left shoulder in the bottom of the second inning, resulting in the ejection of both Straily and Mattingly.
The feisty Marlins manager was seen patting Straily on the back as both headed down the runway toward the clubhouse after the ejections.
“There’s some fuzzy math going on,” Bochy said when asked if he thought Straily’s retaliation evened the score for the Giants plunking Brinson. “I’ve got a third baseman out 6-8 weeks. And I got a guy (Kelby Tomlinson) hit in the back (Monday) night.”
The veteran Giants skipper went on to say anything’s possible in the series finale.
“We’re men,” he boasted. “This happens in baseball. It won’t be the last time.”
Intention or no intention, the Marlins’ Urena has been troubled by hit batsmen this season, having already plunked eight batters http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/a ... ant-jersey , tied for the fifth-most in the majors.
He has faced the Giants three times in his career, twice as a starter, and has gone 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA.
The Giants’ Holland, on the other hand, is about as unlikely to hit a batter as any pitcher in the game. He has plunked just one of the 306 guys he has faced this season.
Holland has pitched just once in his career against the Marlins, and it was a disaster. Facing a lineup that included Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo Stanton, Holland gave up five runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning while pitching for Texas in 2011.
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