Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night
Boston’s starters looked great as they opened up preseason play Tuesday night in Amherst, Mass.
The rest of the lineup? Not so much, and that’s why the Philadelphia 76ers were able to tally a unique home victory, 92-89, over the Celtics on campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The starters opened up the game on a 25-9 run that led to the largest lead of the game by either team. All five of Boston’s starters finished the night with a plus/minus rating of at least plus-12, and newcomer Al Horford finished with a plus-19.
But when Horford and his fellow starters weren’t on the court, Boston lacked offensive continuity and the defense wasn’t quite as sharp. Philadelphia took advantage by slowly battling back into the game.
The 76ers, who trailed 43-31 at halftime, sliced Boston’s lead down to two by the end of the third quarter. The key run of the comeback came during the final minute of that period.
Boston led by 10 points with less than a minute remaining before the Sixers nailed three shots in a row. First, Robert Covington drilled a 3 with 55.2 seconds left, then Brandon Paul dropped in a driving layup with 35.0 seconds left, and then Covington closed the quarter’s scoring with yet another trey at the 3.0-second mark.
That was an eight-point swing in a matter of 52.2 seconds, and that’s all the Sixers needed to give them enough confidence to reach the winner’s circle.
Philadelphia continued its run early on in the fourth quarter by scoring the period’s first 10 points. The run gave the Sixers an eight-point lead, its largest of the night.
The C’s did not fade away, as they made it a one-possession game on multiple occasions during the latter stages of the fourth quarter, but they were unable to get enough stops to complete their comeback.
Instead, Philadelphia exited the Mullins Center with the most unique of home wins – one that came via comeback fashion in the visiting team’s state.
Not a bad debut for Al Horford, huh? Not only did he lead the team in impact, as Boston outscored Philadelphia by 19 points during his 15-plus minutes of action, but he also contributed strong numbers his two most associated statistical categories.
Horford nailed four of his eight shot attempts, matching the most makes by any of the team’s starters, to account for his eight points on the night. Two of his four misses came from long distance.
Rebounding is an area where Boston will need Horford to produce, and he did so Tuesday night. He hauled in eight boards, seven of which were at the defensive end, to account for the game’s top total in the rebounding department.
Did we mention that he played only 15-plus minutes on the night? Yet he still led all players in rebounds.
As we said, not a bad debut for the big man. And it only gets better from here.
Box Score Nuggets
- Three of Boston's five starters (Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley) scored 11 points apiece.
- Terry Rozier led the Celtics with 12 points.
- Both teams shot 42.9 percent or worst from the field.
- Philadelphia made four more free throws (16) than Boston attempted (12).
- Brandon Paul led all scorers with 15 points for Philly.
- Avery Bradley dished out six assists, which falls just one shy of his career high in the regular season.
- Bradley and Sergio Rodriguez tied for the game high in assists with six apiece.
- James Young was the only Celtics player who did not miss a field goal attempt. He made all three of his attempts.
- No player on Boston's team committed more than two turnovers.
- Meanwhile, four Sixers committed at least three turnovers.
- Al Horford grabbed a game-high eight rebounds despite playing only 15-plus minutes.
- All five of Boston's starters finished with a plus/minus rating of at least plus-12.
- Crowder and Bradley accounted for six of Boston's eight made 3-pointers. They made three apiece.
Quote of the Night
When you move the ball like that, you become a dangerous team.
Al Horford on Boston's hot start, which included a 25-9 run to start the game.