James Harden and Paul Reed Gameday Report 76ers Host Celtics in Saturday Showdown

76ers Host Boston Celtics in Saturday Showdown | Gameday Report 59/82

The 76ers (39-19) carry a five-game winning streak into their first home game against the Boston Celtics (43-17) on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. ET. The Sixers’ next game follows their 17-point comeback thriller over the Memphis Grizzlies (35-23) when they resumed post-All-Star break play Thursday.

Boston’s win on Thursday required overtime in Indiana, 142-138 over the Pacers. Jaylen Brown posted a 30-point, 11-rebound double-double, while fellow All-Star Jayson Tatum – the All-Star Game MVP who scored a record 55 points in the event – scored 31 points (9-25 fg, 3-12 3fg, 10-11 ft).

The Celtics won each of the first two games in the season series with the Sixers. NBA opening night in Boston was a 126-117 result, and the rematch there earlier this month (Feb. 8) also went to the home team by a final score of 106-99.

In the second matchup, the Sixers limited Tatum to 12 points and Brown left the game with four points in 18 minutes due to injury. Five other Celtics – including Blake Griffin, who connected on five 3-pointers –  joined Tatum in double figures.

On the Friday evening injury report ahead of Saturday’s game, Philadelphia’s Dewayne Dedmon (left hip soreness) was listed as out. Boston’s Danilo Gallinari (left knee ACL repair) remains out of the lineup.

In the Memphis game, the Sixers trailed by 11 points midway through the fourth quarter and later by four with a minute and a half left. Key plays on both ends of the floor led to a Tobias Harris go-ahead three (106-105) in the final minute.

“To see him persevere, and kind of be the hero of the game in the fourth quarter, that’s big time,” Tyrese Maxey said of Harris.

James Harden surpassed Allen Iverson (No. 27; 24,368 points) on the NBA’s all-time scoring list in the contest. Harden drained six triples and Joel Embiid blocked six shots on the night.

“We're resilient,” said Harden of the comeback. “We fought, and fought, and fought. It was great for us... We found something today: We've got a team that won't quit. And that's always a good sign.”

“It was a Thursday night game, and it sounded like a playoff game in here,” 76ers Head Coach Doc Rivers said. “It always does.”

Saturday is an 8:30 p.m. start in South Philadelphia.

Thursday Top Performances:

James Harden

  • Harden tallied 31 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 6-for-9 from 3-point range, and 5-for-7 at the foul line. He added seven rebounds and a game-high seven assists, plus one steal and two blocked shots.

Joel Embiid

  • Embiid’s final stat line included 27 points, a season-high 19 rebounds, six assists, one steal, and six blocks.

“It should change the tone about him,” Rivers said postgame of Embiid. “Not in the huddle, but outwardly. Joel is a two-way player. If you take away what someone does best, what else can they do to help the team? We ask our guys that every night. Tonight, it was Joel. If you took away his offense, what else did he do? Well, he had six blocks, he had 19 rebounds, he had six assists. That tells you how great the guy is.”

Embiid shot 7-for-25 on the night, but did take 17 free throws (13-17).

“I mean, he just got doubled every play, tripled a lot,” teammate P.J. Tucker said. “So, it's going to be on him. It's going to be on him – literally, to make the plays, to make his plays, make plays for everybody else and make the reads. So, on a nightly basis, it's going to be like that.”

Tobias Harris

  • With 15 of his 20 points coming after halftime, Harris hit a couple of critical threes down the stretch and finished the game 5-for-10 from the field, 4-for-7 from deep, and a perfect 6-for-6 from the line. 

Tyrese Maxey

  • In 37 minutes off the bench, Maxey contributed 16 points, a pair of rebounds, and four steals.

@Sixers Social:

Quote to Note:

Tobias Harris on his late-game shot making, and how the run started:

"It all started with the airball.

Then the crowd: ‘UGGHHH’

And the teammates: ‘UGGHHH’

And me inside: 'Shoot the next one.'"

"I was like, yo - the next shot I get, if I’ve got the time and space, I’m letting it go. And I'm going to make it. And then I was able to hit the next two."

Follow Along Saturday:

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