Tonight at 8:30, TD Garden
The 76ers bench has been considered a huge advantage for the team since the acquisitions of Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilysaova after the February's NBA trade deadline. That wasn't the case in Monday night's 117-101 setback.
Belinelli made just 3 of 9 shots, going 1 for 2 on three-pointers, in scoring 11 points. He also struggled on the defensive end. The shooting guard graded out at a minus-23, meaning the Sixers were outscored by 23 points while the Italian native was on the floor.
Ilyasova missed all three of his three-point attempts in shooting 2 for 9 from the field. He and Belinelli were the only Sixers reserves to score. Amir Johnson (4 minutes, 59 seconds), Justin Anderson (5:16) and TJ McConnell (6:08) all played briefly. Jerryd Bayless (1:44) and Richaun Holmes (1:44) came in for the end-of-game garbage time.
Anderson thinks the reserves can make a difference in this series, beginning tonight.
"We've relied on us all season," the swingman said. "We produce. We bring that energy. We bring that toughness. We bring the speed. We bring something different."
The Sixers recognize they were hit in the mouth in Game 1. It was no different from what happened to them in their Game 2 loss to the Heat in their opening-round series. They responded that time with an impressive road victory in Game 3.
"I think we will be ready to respond," Anderson said. "To whom much is given, much is respected. So we want to make sure our bench — we've been talking, communicating, making sure when our number is called, we don't have time to ease into it — we got to pick it up and get going right away."
Coach: Brad Stevens (playoff record: 16-20)
Injury report: Jaylen Brown, right hamstring strain, doubtful.
Coach: Brett Brown (playoff record: 4-2)
Injury report: None
Saturday: Game 3, 5 p.m., at Wells Fargo Center
May 7: Game 4, 8: 6 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center
May 9: *Game 5, TBD, at TD Garden
May 11: *Game 6, TBD, at Wells Fargo Center
May 13: *Game 7, TBD, at TD Garden