Strong performances from two 2017 draft picks and a dominant team rebounding effort spearheaded the Boston Celtics to an 88-83 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Las Vegas Summer League action Tuesday at Thomas & Mack Center.
Both teams came out of the gate sharp, leading to a 55-point first quarter. The Celtics (3-0) eventually built a 48-41 halftime lead, and then each team took turns dominating the subsequent two periods. The Sixers (1-2) were impressive coming out of intermission -- winning the third period by a 25-11 margin -- before Boston answered by outscoring them 29-17 over the final 10 minutes. The Celtics’ advantage down low was pronounced, as they held a sizable 54-31 rebounding edge, which helped offset their 20 turnovers.
First-round pick Jayson Tatum and second-round selection Jabari Bird co-led the Celtics’ effort with matching 15-point tallies. Tatum added six rebounds, two assists and a steal, while Bird provided eight boards and a steal. Last year’s second-round pick Demetrius Jackson also got into the act, managing 14 points, four assists, two rebounds and a steal. Promising Croatian big man Ante Zizic posted a 12-point, 13-rebound double-double that also included two assists and a block. However, he also was guilty of a game-high five turnovers.
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who began paying dividends for the Sixers in his rookie campaign last season, led the way with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists. Second-round pick Jonah Bolden and Melo Trimble followed with matching 15-point efforts, with Bolden adding eight boards and two steals. Alex Poythress managed nine points, four rebounds, an assist and two blocks, while Larry Drew II supplied eight points, five assists, two boards and four steals.
Both teams now await the final seeding for the first round of the Vegas Summer League playoffs, which begin Wednesday.