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    Boston’s rising stars stalled The Process and led the Celtics to victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

    Substitute point guard Terry Rozier scored 29 Cheap Bo Scarbrough Jersey , and first-year Celtics forward Jayson Tatum had a career-high 28 points to outplay redshirt rookie Ben Simmons on Monday night and lead Boston to a 117-101 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

    With much of the attention focused on 76ers youngsters Simmons and Joel Embiid, Boston’s youth movement of Tatum and Rozier led the way. Two days after scoring a career playoff-high 26 points in Game 7 against Milwaukee, Rozier topped it, while also adding eight rebounds and six assists.

    ”It’s been a dream come true. I want to keep going,” said Rozier, who was wearing a Drew Bledsoe Patriots jersey to milk one more chuckle out of his pseudo-feud with vanquished Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe. ”I’m just a guy just living in the moment.”

    Embiid scored 31 points with 13 rebounds for Philadelphia, which lost for just the second time in 22 games. Simmons, the likely rookie of the year, scored 18 with seven boards and six assists.

    But with six days of rest since eliminating Miami, the 76ers missed 15 of their first 20 shots and hit 5 of 26 from 3-point range to lose for just the second time since March 13.

    ”We’re NBA players and we have to be ready,” Embiid said. ”We weren’t ready tonight.”

    Al Horford had 26 points and seven rebounds for Boston, which will host Game 2 on Thursday night. The Celtics are hoping to have guard Jaylen Brown back from a hamstring injury he sustained in the clincher against the Bucks, leaving him sidelined along with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

    Playing in place of Irving, Rozier picked up where he left off in the first round by scoring 10 points and six assists in the first quarter on Monday night. He was 7 for 9 from 3-point range overall, combining with Tatum to overshadow the lottery picks accumulated by Philadelphia during The Process.

    The first overall pick in the 2016 draft who sat out all of last year with an injury, Simmons was heckled by the Boston crowd with chants of ”Not a Rookie!” In the fourth quarter, as Tatum stepped to the free throw line to protect a double-digit lead Authentic Lorenzo Carter Jersey , the chant turned to ”He’s a Rookie!”

    ”I love when people talk trash,” Embiid said. ”Keep bringing it, and we’ll see how it goes.”

    Tatum was Boston’s first pick last year – third overall – after swapping the No. 1 pick to the Sixers and grabbing a 2018 first-rounder as well. Philadelphia picked Markelle Fultz; he did not play on Monday night.

    ”It’s been great to see Jayson and Terry and just our guys play like that,” Horford said. ”I think that Jayson’s starting to figure it out. … And it’s great to see for our team.”

    It was 33-all with just over seven minutes left in the half when the Celtics ran off 10 points in a row. Horford had four of the five baskets and assisted on the other. Boston led 87-70 in the final minute of the third quarter when Philadelphia scored nine straight points to make it a nine-point game.

    After Simmons made a layup to make it 97-88, Horford hit a 3 from the top of the key with 5:30 left and it was never within single digits again.

    PUT ME IN COACH

    Up until about an hour before game time, Brown was still trying to figure out a way to play on his strained right hamstring.

    The Celtics’ second-leading scorer in the first round with 17.9 points per game, Brown was finally ruled out about a half-hour before tipoff following a conversation with doctors, trainers and Horford.

    ”Jaylen’s a competitor, I know he was doing everything he could to be out there,” Horford said. ”His health is most important. We didn’t want any setbacks with him. One of the things when I talked to him, I was like `Hey, we obviously really need you out there, but we need you for the long run. We need you to be healthy and to feel good.’

    ”Hopefully now he has a couple of day to recover and he’ll be back Thursday.”

    OLD SCHOOL FEEL

    Sixers coach Brett Brown is familiar with the Philadelphia and Boston matchups of the 1980s, having grown up in South Portland, Maine. Though he knows other teams in the East remain relevant, he thinks there is enough young talent on the current 76ers and Celtics rosters to give the rivalry a rebirth.

    ”I hope so,” Brown said. ”I personally grew up with this rivalry Michael Gallup Cowboys Jersey , just right on your doorstep and just a big part of your basketball life as a young kid. It sure seems like both programs are heading into the right direction.”

    TIP-INS

    Sixers: Embiid is the first Sixer with 30 points in a playoff game since Andre Miller in 2009. He is the first one with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in a postseason game since Allen Iverson in 2001. … Embiid again wore the mask he has needed since missing 10 straight games – including the first two of the playoffs.

    Celtics: It was the first time that Boston has had three players score 25 or more points in a playoff game since Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo in 2009. … Hall of Famer and 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell was in the crowd…. Smart missed his first five shots. … The Celtics put T-shirts on every seat that said ”BEAT PHILA.” The ”L-A” were in bold, a nod to the longtime rivalry with the Lakers.



    This story has been corrected in the 6th paragraph to indicate the 76ers missed 15 of their first 20 shots, not the Heat.

    Tampa Bay hasn’t played in a week, while Boston is coming off a hard-fought, seven-game playoff series.

    Neither the Lightning nor the less-rested Bruins expect that to mean anything when their second-round playoff series begins Saturday.

    A single point separated the Atlantic Division rivals in the standings after the race for the top seed in Eastern Conference came down to the final night of the regular season, and there’s every reason to believe this best-of-seven matchup will be just as tight.

    ”Obviously, these were the top two teams in the division, and it was a close call until the last game on who was going to finish first and second,” Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said.

    ”It’s going to be a tough matchup. They are great team, so are we,” the Norris Trophy finalist said. ”It’s going to come down to the small detail in the game. We have the skill and depth up front to score goals, but we have to keep the puck out of our net.”

    Boston won three of four meetings between the teams the regular season.

    The Bruins won their opening round playoff series against Toronto in seven games. Tampa Bay, led by Nikita Kucherov’s 10 points (five goals, five assists) eliminated New Jersey in five games after going 0-3-1 against the Devils.

    ”I think you learn that the regular season means nothing,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. ”We know how they play. Very competitive group, very well structured Tarvarius Moore Color Rush Jersey , especially that top line. … We’re expecting a very tight series against a very good hockey team.”

    The Bruins are bracing for a tough test, too.

    ”It’s going to be a battle,” Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. ”They were a top team all year. They compete very hard, have a ton of skill, and they have a lot of depth.”

    THEY ALL COUNT

    The Lightning earned home-ice advantage for the series by finishing one point ahead of Boston in the standings. In fact, it all came down to the final night of the season, when the Bruins were playing Florida in a makeup game for a Jan. 4 game postponed by a snowstorm.

    The Panthers won 4-2, leaving Boston with 112 points to 113 for Tampa Bay.

    ”We’re not going to allow one game to define us, yet we understand the meaning,” coach Bruce Cassidy said then. ”We let one get away, an opportunity lost to have home-ice advantage, and we’ll see if that haunts us down the road. I think it’s too early to tell that right now.”

    NOT THE FIRST TIME

    The Lightning and Bruins are facing each other in the postseason for only the second time. The other meeting was in the 2011 Eastern Conference Final, won by Boston in seven games.

    FALLING IN LINE

    In the four playoff games the Bruins won against Toronto, the trio of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand had a combined 30 points. In the three games they lost, they were held completely scoreless.

    ”They’re our most important line,” defenseman Torey Krug said after they tallied three goals with four assists in Game 7. ”They’re the best line in the NHL Youth Kendall Wright Jersey , and when they’re going it’s hard to stop.”

    TONGUE LASHING

    Marchand will do whatever it takes to get under the skin of his opponents, and in the first round that meant skating up to Toronto forward Leo Komarov and appearing to lick his face. (In November, he appeared to kiss Komarov on the cheek.)

    ”I thought he wanted to cuddle. I just wanted to get close to him,” Marchand explained after the playoff game. ”He keeps trying to get close to me. I don’t know if he’s got a thing for me or what. He’s cute.”

    Several news organizations reported this week that the NHL sent a message to Marchand to knock it off, but he said he has received no such message. ”This is false,” he tweeted in response to a Boston Globe story that picked up on the original report, from Sportsnet.

    I KINDA LIKE HIM

    Lightning coach Jon Cooper was asked how he views Marchand.

    ”To be honest, what I have seen of him, what goes on out on the ice, he’s a competitive you know what and I love that. I think some of the greatest comments you can give a player is I hate that kid but I do wish he was on my team,” Cooper said.

    ”I was fortunate enough during the All-Star game to meet him … and off the ice to spend a little time. It actually was disappointing, I was hoping he was going to be an idiot. I was hoping I wasn’t going to like him,” Cooper added. ”But he was unreal, and it’s amazing that a guy who is that kind and nice and outgoing and friendly is the same guy who jumps on the ice. You have to respect that about him. And when that kids jumps on the ice, he comes to play.”



    AP Sports Writer Jimmy Golen in Boston contributed to this report.



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    such a long content i think i gains a lot of knowladge

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    Thanks for sharing this post with us.

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    The Western Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of two conferences that makes up the league, the other being the Eastern Conference. Like the Eastern Conference, the Western Conference is made up of 15 teams, organized in three divisions.The current divisional alignment was adopted at the start of the 2004–05 season, when the now Charlotte Hornets began play as the NBA's 30th franchise

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