Horford: Celtics couldn't defend without Embiid.

New York -- The Boston Celtics lost Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night in Boston, 119-115. Joel Embiid, a potential MVP.

Candidate, was sidelined due to a right knee injury. Philadelphia shot 50.6% while Boston shot 58.7% and had 39 points from Jayson Tatum.

The Sixers were propelled by James Harden's 45 points and crucial 3-pointer with 8.1 seconds remaining.

I felt like we started off well offensively, but I don't think there was a sense of urgency on the defensive end," Celtics center.

Al Horford said after the game.Embiid's absence tonight was a factor, even if you deny it. Be better. We must be able to play with any variable. Our staff.

Has done it for whatever reason." Tatum didn't think the Celtics misjudged the Sixers without Embiid.

But he did think Boston's defense wasn't good enough. "We let guys get too comfortable," Tatum said. "We can improve. Offensive rebounds cost us.

Second- and third-chance opportunities. It's about increasing pressure and making people uncomfortable... everyone is gifted and feels a little more free out there.

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