Harden hits late 3, 76ers defeat Celtics in semifinal opener

Boston, May. 2 (Us): James Harden hit a career-high 45 playoff points and a go-ahead hit, and a running back 3-pointer on Al Horford with 8.7 seconds left as the Philadelphia 76ers rallied Don Joel Embiid to beat the Boston Celtics 119 -115 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal game Monday night.

Therese Maxi added 26 points, and Tobias Harris finished with 18 for the Sixers, who made 17 three-pointers in the absence of MVP finalist Embiid, who sat out with a sprained right knee he sustained in Game 3 of Philadelphia’s first-round series against him. Brooklyn Nets.

Jason Tatum led the Celtics with 39 points and 11 rebounds. Jaylen Brown added 23 points and Malcolm Brogdon finished with 20, the Associated Press reports.

Boston hosts Game 2 on Wednesday night.

Nuggets 97 Shams 87

DENVER: Nikola Jokic scored 39 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as Denver took a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Jokic’s big night was essential as Jamal Murray scored just 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting after hitting 34 in the series opener when he had six three-pointers. Murray was 0-for-9 from long range Monday night. The Suns lost Chris Paul to a tight left groin late in the third quarter.

Aaron Gordon added 16 points, Kentavious Caldwell Pope added 14 and went 4-for-4 from outside the arc, including back-to-back swishes that wiped out a 73-70 deficit and put the Nuggets ahead well early in the fourth quarter.

Devin Booker led the Phoenix team with 35 points, and Kevin Durant added 24 points.

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The teams get an extended break before the series resumes with Game 3 in Phoenix Friday night.


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