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The Boston Celtics are set to take on the Philadelphia 76ers in the only NBA playoff game of the weekend. It’s a do-or-die Game 7 in Boston set to take place Sunday afternoon.

For Boston fans, playing a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals is a disappointment. The Celtics were heavy favorites coming into the series and now find themselves in a must-win situation. They’ve been there before. In fact, this will be Boston’s 36th Game 7 ever. How have the Celtics fared in the previous 35?

The Boston Celtics enter as a 7-point favorite against the 76ers

James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against Malcolm Brogdon of the Boston Celtics during the fourth quarter in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Wells Fargo Center on May 11, 2023, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. | Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images.

Although the Celtics enter Sunday’s game as a seven-point favorite, that has meant nothing so far in this series. In fact, homecourt advantage has meant very little, with only the Celtics winning at home in Game 2 and the Sixers doing the same in Game 4.

A year ago, the Celtics were in this same position against the third-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. After the Celtics went into Milwaukee and won Game 6 to keep their season alive, they came home and rode Grant Williams’ 27-point effort to victory. The win set up a meeting with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat await the winner of Sunday’s Celtics/Sixers game.

The Celtics had an embarrassing home loss to Philly in Game 1, falling 119-115. The Sixers played without league MVP Joel Embiid but got a masterful 45-point performance from James Harden that helped steal homecourt advantage from Boston.

After the Celtics won the next two games, they rallied from 16 points down in Game 4 to take a late five-point lead. The Sixers bounced back to force overtime, where they pulled out a 116-115 victory to even the series. Philadelphia made it two straight with a dominant performance back in Boston for Game 5, winning 115-103.

The Celtics won Game 6 on the road 95-86, but after this roller-coaster of a series, coming home for Game 7 doesn’t seem to matter a whole bunch. Or does it?

The Celtics have been great in Game 7s

The Celtics are hoping to raise banner No. 18 at the end of the season. It’s been a realistic goal since the Golden State Warriors eliminated them in the 2022 NBA Finals in six games. The Celtics have been motivated and hungry to get back to the championship round and take care of business.

Game 7s have been part of Boston’s DNA. They have played more than their fair share of them, but the good news for Celtics fans is that they’ve thrived in these situations.

Prior to Sunday’s matchup with the Sixers, Boston has played in 35 winner-take-all Game 7s. According to, the Celtics are 26-9 in those games.

Boston’s most recent Game 7 came in last year’s conference finals against the top-seeded Heat. The Celtics went on the road and defeated Miami 100-96 to earn their first berth in the championship round since 2010.

This will be Celtics star Jayson Tatum’s sixth Game 7. He’s gone 4-1 in his previous five, with his lone loss coming at home against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals.

The Sixers have been a problem for the Celtics this postseason, but Boston usually finds a way to get it done in these do-or-die playoff games.


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