As well as the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers have played offensively throughout their second-round series, Game 7's are known for their physicality. More often than not, series-deciding games are ugly games between teams that have grown to dislike each other across the previous two weeks, and Game 7 between the Celtics and 76ers on Sunday has been no exception.
The game has already featured a number of incidents that have required an extra look at the video monitors. The most notable came late in the second quarter. Jaylen Brown appeared to foul James Harden but wound up on the Philadelphia sideline. As he tried to get back into the play, 76ers reserve Georges Niang grabbed Brown's leg. Brown had some words for Niang and the Philadelphia bench, and the two of them were called for double technical fouls.
Harden was only peripherally involved in that play, but he and Brown were the principal figures in the first major review of the game. Earlier in the second quarter, Harden lost the ball as he was going up for a layup, but elbowed Brown in the face as he tried to regain control.
Brown had notably been wearing a facial mask in this series due to an injury, but he is not wearing one in Game 7. Harden was assessed a flagrant-1 foul, and that gives him three flagrant foul points in the postseason. If the 76ers advance, one more flagrant foul point would result in an automatic suspension for Harden.
These two teams have spent seven games growing to dislike one another. Both know that they are one game away from elimination. That is the sort of thing that certainly breeds some animosity, and it has been on display throughout this contest. With one half in the books, Boston leads Philadelphia 55-52.