NBA: Boston Celtics erase 22-point deficit to down Philadelphia 76ers, take 2-0 lead in play-offs

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) shoots past Philadelphia 76ers guard JJ Redick (17) during the first half in game two of the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) shoots past Philadelphia 76ers guard JJ Redick (17) during the first half in game two of the second round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs. PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The Boston Celtics roared back from a 22-point deficit to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 108-103 on Thursday and take a 2-0 lead in their NBA Eastern Conference playoff series.

Jayson Tatum scored 21 points to lead six Boston players in double figures as the Celtics remained unbeaten on their home floor in these playoffs.

They will try to extend their advantage when the series shifts to Philadelphia for games three and four on Saturday and Monday.

Boston, the club with the most NBA titles, has battled into the Eastern Conference semi-finals despite the injury absences of Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Daniel Theis.

Rookie Jaylen Brown, who has been in and out of action with a hamstring injury, came off the bench on Thursday and scored 13 points, contributing to a remarkable turnaround.

After squandering their big second-quarter lead, the 76ers steadied, briefly edging back ahead in the fourth quarter.

But the Celtics produced an 11-4 scoring run to regain the lead with less than four minutes to play and held on against a Sixers team led by JJ Redick's 23 points.

Robert Covington scored 22 and Joel Embiid added 20, but Sixers star rookie Ben Simmons was held to just one point in 31 minutes, missing all four of his shots from the field.

"That's the story of our season," Tatum said of the Celtics rally. "We've been down countless times.

"We've been down guys. But we have a never say die mentality."