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Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers

Three takeaways from McConnell's career night as the 76ers defeat the Celtics in Game 4

#TJ McConnell

The Philadelphia 76ers are still alive and well after a 103-92 Game 4 victory on Monday.

Brett Brown's gamble of putting T.J. McConnell in the starting lineup paid off as the 26-year-old had a career night.

As you know by now no team has come back from a 3-0 deficit in NBA history - the 76ers began the road to impossible with their first victory of the series.

Here are three takeaways from Philly's Game 4 win.

T.J. McConnell

Brett Brown said after Game 2 that Ben Simmons is no doubt his point guard and that's who he'll ride with, but T.J. McConnell has become the calming presence the 76ers needed on the floor.

In his first career playoff start, McConnell responded with a career-high 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists in the win. He was also a plus-18 in 39 minutes with no turnovers.

Having him on the floor beside Simmons gave the 76ers two creators, giving Philly the grit and determination they needed to stave off elimination.

Pound the paint

The 76ers were a combined plus-14 in the paint through the first three games of the series, on Monday they were a plus-22 inside.

It was clear from the outset of the game that Brett Brown's squad were going to put their heads down and get to the bucket. The Celtics don't have a true shot blocker on the team despite getting 10 blocks on Monday, and with Embiid's ability to spread the floor it gave the 76ers driving lanes that they finally took advantage of.

Expect Brad Stevens to make an adjustment in Game 5, but if Philadelphia can continue to attack the rim like they did in Game 4 they can extend the series longer than expected.

Offensive Rebounds

Philadelphia were just quicker and hungrier when it came to rebounds on Monday. They finished a plus-10 in rebounds overall, but they had a series-high 16 offensive rebounds leading to 18 second-chance points. Philly has led the playoffs with 15.6 second-chance points per game.

Even though Boston did a good job of slowing down the 76ers in their initial fast-break opportunities, the 76ers were able to send numbers to the glass to clean up any misses.

Credit Joel Embiid and Dario Saric who both had four offensive rebounds in Game 4.

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