Game Recap: Sixers 94, Celtics 102
How it Went Down
The game was an exciting, back-and-forth affair. The Sixers got out to an early lead, but Boston took aim from downtown (11-for-22 on the night) to charge back.
In the first half, the Sixers made a significant amount of damage by getting to the free-throw line, making 15 of 16 free throws -- including six from Ben Simmons and five from Richaun Holmes.
Philadelphia entered the half trailing 46-45, after Boston shot 53.8 percent from three-point range.
The second half pace picked up, and the fourth quarter saw a number of lead changes, as the two teams exchanged offensive blows down the stretch.
The Sixers wound up shooting 41.8 percent from the field. Five Sixers -- Christian Wood, Ben Simmons, TLC, Richaun Holmes and James Webb III -- finished with double-digit points.
The Debut of Ben Simmons
Playing in his first game since LSU, Simmons showcased why the Sixers made him the No. 1 overall pick. His point-forward skills were on full display, as he made a plethora of impressive passes to teammates. When he was in the game, Simmons shared ball-handling duties with whoever was playing point guard.
The most interesting thing from Simmons’ night was his success from the free-throw line. Despite shooting a poor 67 percent at LSU, Simmons knocked down all of his first-half free throws.
Simmons looked comfortable in the offense, displaying good vision when distributing the rock. He had a few cross-court passes, which he slinged with velocity. Simmons flirted with a double-double, finishing with 10 points, five assists and eight rebounds.
The top pick would experience experienced cramps in both of his calves, starting in the third quarter, causing his night to end prematurely in the fourth.
Prior to Monday night’s game, Simmons spoke about what his thoughts were leading up to his first taste of NBA basketball: “I’m ready to play,” Simmons said. “I’ve been waiting a while to just step onto the scene, the NBA, and the summer league’s the best possible way. Hopefully I can get adjusted, I haven’t played in a while, but I’m looking forward to getting the cobwebs off.”
Sixer of the Game
Christian Wood had himself a very impressive night, leading the team in scoring with 20 points to go along with his five rebounds.
"TheCross" was consistent at getting to the basket, shooting 7-for-9 from the field, and also knocked down one three. Wood is looking to improve on his rookie year, in which the 6’11” tall big man appeared in 17 games.
- New year, different hair, but the same high-energy T.J. McConnell. His signature hustle was apparent during the whole game, and he even showed some extra sizzle when getting to the basket.
- Richaun Holmes’ rim-protecting ability was on display once again. Holmes finished the game with five blocks, which led the team
- Philadelphia’s ball movement was impressive during the entire game. The ball was being swung around with good efficiency. It was entertaining to watch the offense operate so effectively
The Sixers won’t get a lot of time for rest, as the team is back in action Tuesday against the San Antonio Spurs. That game tips off at 5 p.m.