The Eastern Conference Semifinals haven’t been especially kind to the Philadelphia 76ers. From a 22-point lead evaporating in Game 2 to a brutal overtime loss in Game 3, there hasn’t been much to get excited about for Brett Brown and company but, on Monday evening, the Sixers put together their most impressive performance of the series and they were led by an unexpected source to stave off elimination with a Game 4 victory over the Boston Celtics.
Prior to tip-off, Brown made the controversial decision to remove struggling Robert Covington from the starting lineup and replace him with backup point guard T.J. McConnell. When the dust settled, it was McConnell that served as a considerable bright spot for the Sixers, finishing the evening with a career-best 19 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists in 39 minutes of action. In conjunction with strong efforts from Dario Saric (25 points, eight rebounds, four assists), Joel Embiid (15 points, 13 rebounds and a game-best +22), and others, that was enough to avoid a season-ending defeat.