Another Hard Fought Battle With Boston Goes to Celtics
Competitive until the final buzzer, this season’s third meeting between the 76ers (36-21) and Boston Celtics (36-21) unfortunately yielded the same result of the first two, as the Sixers fell, 112-109, Tuesday at The Center.
Double-digit performances from all five Sixer starters weren’t enough to overcome the Celtics’ attack, led by Gordon Hayward’s 26 points and 6-7 3-point shooting off the bench.
Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 23 points, 14 rebounds, and three assists. Jimmy Butler added 22 points, nine rebounds, and one assist. JJ Redick and Ben Simmons contributed 16 points apiece.
“You want to win every game, but at the same time it’s a new team,” Ben Simmons said. “It’s a good test for us.”
In a game that featured eight lead changes and nine ties, the Celtics turned over the ball just six times. The Sixers had 14 turns.
“We’ve got a whole new team. We’ve been with each other for a minute,” Brett Brown said postgame. “I’m excited to play these guys [again].”
For the Celtics, Al Horford scored 23 points and grabbed 14 boards, while Jayson Tatum recorded 20 points and 10 rebounds in the absence of Kyrie Irving (knee).
The C’s led the Sixers for most of the first half, before the Sixers opened the third frame with a 9-0 run.
With under three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Embiid contributed five points in 40 seconds, giving his team a 103-102 lead with just over two minutes to play.
Hayward then hit the last of this threes with 1:50 on the clock, putting the Celtics up 105-103. They wouldn’t trail again.
Hanging around until the end, the Sixers got an Embiid layup to pull within one with 2.4 seconds left.
They were forced to foul Jayson Tatum (20 pts, 10 reb) with 1.8 seconds on the clock, and he mae both shots to seal the victory.
Click here for a complete box score.
Much like most games featuring Ben Simmons, Tuesday’s contest still had some highlights.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 13, 2019
In their final game before the All-Star break, the Sixers will travel to Madison Square Garden to visit the New York Knicks (10-46) Wednesday. The Sixers have bested the Knicks in each of their first three meetings this season. New York traded injured star forward Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks on January 31, and have dropped their last 17 games.