Celtics spoil Embiid's return, rout 76ers to even series
Jaylen Brown starred as the Boston Celtics routed the Philadelphia 76ers 121-87 Wednesday to spoil Joel Embiid’s return from injury and coronation as league MVP.
Boston's runaway victory was an emphatic bounce-back performance that tied the second-round series at a game apiece.
Embiid had missed the 76ers' previous two games, including their Game 1 victory Monday, due to injury.
After being announced as the NBA's MVP on Tuesday, Embiid was unable to produce in full force during Game 2, finishing with 15 points and three rebounds while shooting 4 of 9 from the field.
Embiid did make his presence felt on the defensive end by blocking five shots, all in the first half.
James Harden, who scored 45 points in Philadelphia's Game 1 win, shot just 2 of 14 from the field, missing all six of his three-point attempts.
The Celtics held a decided advantage from beyond the arc, making 20 three-pointers to the 76ers' six.
Boston led 57-49 at halftime and connected on seven three-pointers in the third quarter to blow the game open for good.
The Celtics were able to cruise to victory despite frigid shooting performances from both Jayson Tatum and Al Horford, who were a combined 3 of 17 from the field and 1 for 11 from three-point range.
Brown was their star performer with 25 points, while Malcolm Brogdon added 23 from the bench.
Boston guard Marcus Smart was able to play through a chest contusion but briefly left the game after he suffered a right shoulder stinger during a tumble with Embiid. He was able to return.
The series will shift to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Friday.