Boston Celtics steal Game 3 in Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA – With little bits of confetti littering the sidelines at Wells Fargo Center – the result of a premature victory celebration – the Boston Celtics stole Game 3 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Philadelphia 76ers and put a stranglehold on this Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Al Horford muscled home a layup under the basket with 5.5 seconds remaining in overtime then picked off Ben Simmons on the ensuing possession as the Celtics emerged with a wild 101-98 triumph.

Boston leads the series 3-0 with a chance to sweep on Monday in Philadelphia.

The operations crew accidentally fired a confetti cannon after Marco Belinelli beat the buzzer with a game-tying shot at the end of regulation. Video review confirmed a two-point shot and the game was delayed heading to overtime while arena staffers worked to clear the confetti as it slowly fell the court.

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Marco Belinelli catches the inbounds pass and sinks the jumper at the buzzer sending the game to overtime.

Jaylen Brown had scored twice in the final 24 seconds of regulation, including a go-ahead layup with 1.8 seconds remaining off a Philadelphia turnover as Boston improbably pulled ahead 89-87.

Belinelli rescued the Sixers when he shook free from Terry Rozier, who stumbled chasing him, and hit the fading shot off a feed from Ben Simmons as the Sixers bench spilled onto the court in celebration as the confetti cannon eventually fired.

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Ben Simmons ruins an opportunity for 2 easy points in the 4th quarter by missing a tomahawk slam.

The Celtics made it a folly for the Sixers by rallying from behind yet again in the extra session.

Horford failed with a chance to tie the game in overtime when he missed the front end of two free throws with 42.5 seconds to go. Boston got another chance when Simmons misfired with 17.2 seconds to go.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens used two timeouts with 8.4 seconds to work his whiteboard magic. Marcus Morris lobbed a pass to Horford under the basket and he scored over Robert Covington to put Boston out front.

Horford finished with just 13 points over 41:34 but made all the biggest plays of the night. Rookie Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 24 points.

Joel Embiid finished with 22 points for the Sixers.



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