The Celtics beat the 76ers 109-101 in Game 1 of the 2020 playoffs on Monday NIght. Joel Embiid started off the night really hot from the field, but the Celtics held him in check for the rest of the game. He finished with 26 points on 8-15 shooting as well as 16 rebounds and 5 turnovers. It seemed like he got whatever he wanted when he was one on one in the post, but the Celtics adjusted and double teamed him which caused the 5 turnovers. Tobias Harris didn’t have the best scoring game, but he did finish with 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Alec Burks was a big spark off the bench for the 76ers with 18 points. Their backcourt of Shake Milton and Josh Richardson combined for 31 points and Al Horford was a team worst -18 from the field. The 76ers had 18 turnovers compared to the Celtics having only 7.
On the Celtics side, Jayson Tatum set playoff career highs with 32 points and 13 rebounds and Jaylen Brown made huge shots in the fourth quarter and finished with 29 points. In his Celtics playoff debut, Kemba Walker had 19 points on 7-16 shooting to go along with 5 assists. The Center position for the Celtics played pretty decent. Theis, Kanter, and Robert Williams combined for 11 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, and 10 personal fouls. Grant Williams and Enes Kanter had a couple of big offensive rebounds in the 4th quarter and Brad Wanamaker only played 10 minutes, but played well. Marcus Smart had 2 points on 0-5 shooting, but in typical Marcus Smart fashion, he made a lot of huge defensive plays.
The biggest story of the night was Gordon Hayward. Hayward had 12 points on 5-13 shooting, but he left the game in the 4th quarter after spraining his ankle. On Tuesday morning, the Celtics official twitter account tweeted out that Hayward suffered a grade 3 ankle sprain and will be out for four weeks. That is a huge blow for this Celtics team. They will now be without their 17 points per game scorer through at least the Conference Finals, if the Celtics should make it that far. I would not be surprised to see Marcus Smart or even Semi Ojeleye replace Hayward in the starting lineup, but none of them can match Hayward’s offensive output. Game 1 was not pretty, but the Celtics did in fact come out with the win. Game 2 is on Wednesday.