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Offense stagnates, Embiid looks rusty in 121-87 Game 2 loss

Well, that could have gone better.

Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Key details on Game 2:

  • The Celtics kicked the Sixers' ass.

Box score

The Sixers came into Game 2 riding high, winning Game 1 thanks to a career night from James Harden, and with Joel Embiid officially returning to the lineup just a few hours after collecting the first MVP trophy of his illustrious career.

That momentum never translated to the court on Wednesday night.

If you really, really squint you might be able to find positives to take away from the Sixers' first half performance in Game 2. Sure, their offense was stagnant, their passes errant and they couldn't make a perimeter shot to save their lives (1-13 from 3-point range).

But they started the game off at least competing defensively, mostly thanks to Joel Embiid's ability to protect the paint and erase mistakes. They were limiting Boston to one look at the basket. They were getting to the free-throw line. Jayson Tatum was in early foul trouble. Joel Embiid looked mostly like Joel Embiid, despite the sprained right knee, and even after a long layoff to rehab it.

If they could just execute a little bit better offensively in the second half, they had a chance to fully take control of this seven game series.

Then the third quarter happened

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