Boston Celtics surge past Philadelphia 76ers for Game 7 win to reach Eastern Conference finals

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Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Image

Jayson Tatum scored a playoff career-high 51 points – the most ever in a Game 7 in NBA history – to lead the Boston Celtics to a 112-88 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday to return to the Eastern Conference finals.

After his 16 point fourth-quarter performance rallied the Celtics to a Game 6 victory, Tatum was hot from the start in the winner-take-all Game 7, going 17-of-28 from the field – including 6 of 10 from 3-point range – while grabbing 13 rebounds to help Boston advance to face the Miami Heat in the East finals for a second year in a row.

The series will begin Wednesday in Boston.

Jaylen Brown added 25 points and Malcolm Brogdon scored 12 off the bench for the Celtics, who broke the game open in the third quarter.

With the game tied at 55 early in the third, Boston went on a 28-3 run while holding the 76ers without a point for 6:20 to build an 83-58 advantage.

Tatum scored 17 of Boston’s 33 third-quarter points as the 76ers were limited to just 10 points in the period – tied for the lowest-scoring quarter by a team in a playoff game in the shot clock era.

While Tatum’s point total surpassed Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry’s 50-point mark set just two weeks ago against the Sacramento Kings for the most in a Game 7 in league history, MVP Joel Embiid and James Harden combined for just 24 points.

Embiid finished with 15 points on 5-of-18 shooting and eight rebounds and Harden scored just nine while misfiring on 8 of 11 shots.

The 76ers lost in the conference finals for the third year in a row and fifth time in six seasons.