As one would expect from a 76ers-Celtics matchup, things got a bit chippy between these two Eastern Conference powerhouses.
The rivalry between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics is one of the best in sports, and last night the NBA world was reminded why.
With the playoffs almost around the corner, these two teams are jocking for playoff seeding. The 76ers are trying their best to catch the Toronto Raptors for the second seed, and also had a chance to punch their playoff ticket with a win. The Celtics, meanwhile, are trying to catch the Indiana Pacers for the fourth-seed.
With so much on the line, their matchup on Wednesday night was surely going to cause some fireworks to erupt, and it took some time, but eventually, it did.
With the 76ers Jimmy Butler imbounding the ball, superstar Joel Embiid threw an elbow to the Celtics’ Marcus Smart, which sent him to the ground. Smart, a player who has long played with a chip on his shoulder, didn’t take too kindly to Embiid’s elbow, and, if you watch the video above, you can clearly see that it was intentional.
When Smart got up off the ground, he shoved Embiid to the floor, hard, and that got Embiid red. As soon as he got up, he charged at Smart, and their teammates had to hold them both back from each other, which was the right thing to do because Embiid looked like he wanted to kill Smart.
In the end, Smart shoving Embiid to the ground was not a good move.
When the sparks flew, the Celtics were up by 11 with a little over 11 minutes to go in the third quarter, and not only did the shove get Smart ejected from the game, but it juiced up the 76ers, carrying them to a 118-115 come-from-behind victory, clinching a playoff berth, and dealing a serious blow to the Celtics’ hopes for homecourt advantage in the first round.