Marcus Smart looks forward to ‘dogfight' in Game 6 vs. Sixers


For the second straight postseason, the Boston Celtics will have to dig themselves out of a 3-2 hole in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Tuesday night's crushing 115-103 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden puts the Celtics on the brink of elimination as the series shifts back to Wells Fargo Center. Last year, the C's went down 3-2 in their series vs. the Milwaukee Bucks before winning Game 6 on the road and Game 7 in Boston.

Game 5 takeaways: C's offense goes cold in loss to Sixers

After the Game 5 loss, Celtics guard Marcus Smart shared what he took from last year's series that will prepare him for Thursday's showdown.

“The brutality of it It’s a true dogfight, scratching and clawing, biting, blood, everything," Smart said. "And if you’re not willing to pretty much get dirty if you’re not willing to bleed. If you’re not willing to break something, willing to tear something, going hard, then you shouldn’t be on that court because that’s what it is. That’s what the playoffs are about.

"Hopefully, you stay safe, but that’s the mentality. You gotta go. You gotta be willing to risk it all for these games. And that’s the mentality we got to have.”

It's a mentality the Celtics clearly lacked in Game 5, and Smart -- who won his third NBA Hustle Award -- knows it.

“The energy wasn’t right. It could have been better, way better. We know that we understand that," he said. "If you’re not ready to come out, at any given moment, this can happen. So you tip your hat off and move on to the next one.”

The 76ers dominated on both ends throughout Tuesday's game. They shot 50.6 percent from the floor (40 percent from 3) while the C's shot 39.8 percent on field goals -- a number aided by reserves Payton Pritchard and Sam Hauser (combined 3-6 FG) in garbage time.

Boston will need a major bounce-back performance in Thursday's Game 6, otherwise their promising 2022-23 campaign will come to an end. Tip-off for the matchup is set for 7:30 p.m. ET., but you can get ready for the action with Celtics Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. right here on NBC Sports Boston.

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