The 76ers are heading to Boston, and they’ll face the Celtics in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals series.
Game 1 is scheduled for 8 p.m. Monday at Boston’s TD Garden. The Celtics advanced after defeating the Milwaukee Bucks, 112-96, Saturday night at the Garden in Game 7 of their first-round series.
This marks the first time the Sixers and Celtics will meet in the playoffs since 2012. The Celtics escaped then with a conference semifinal series win of four games to three. That was the last time the Sixers reached the playoffs.
Game 2 of the conference semifinal will be at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Garden. The series moves to the Wells Fargo Center for the next two games. Game 3 is Saturday. Game 4 will be on May 7. The times are to be determined. If needed, Game 5 would be back in Boston on May 9. Game 6 would be May 11 in Philadelphia, while Game 7 would be in Boston on May 13.
The Celtics won three of this season’s four regular-season meetings. Boston won, 102-92, on Oct. 20 in Philly; 108-97 on Nov. 30 in Boston, and 114-113 on Jan. 11 in London. The Sixers beat a Celtics squad minus all-star point guard Kyrie Irving, 89-80, on Jan. 18 in Boston.
For this series, Irving is sidelined due to season-ending surgery on his left knee. Jaylen Brown may miss time, too. He missed the entire second half of Game 7 with a hamstring issue.
Meanwhile, the Sixers are the hottest team in the NBA, winning 20 of their last 21 games. Point guard Ben Simmons, the rookie-of-the-year front runner, is playing at an all-NBA level. So is Joel Embiid. The all-star center returned three games ago after missing 10 straight with a fractured orbital bone near his left eye. And key reserves Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova weren’t Sixers the last time the teams met.
The Sixers clinched their series against the Miami Heat with Tuesday’s Game 5 victory at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers won the last three games en route to taking a series win of four games to one.