The Boston Celtics confronted a uniquely troublesome problem at dwelling within the TD Backyard this night, going through down the red-hot Philadelphia 76ers absent 4 of their beginning 5 (counting Jaylen Brown, who sat out the second half because of a facial contusion). With Al Horford and Robert Williams III each absent, MVP hopeful Joel Embiid loomed as a formidable problem, however the Celtics had been in a position to muster a robust collective effort and defeat the Sixers, 106-99.
It was a balanced effort for the Celtics this night, with six gamers recording double-digit scoring. Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White led the best way with 19 factors apiece, whereas Jayson Tatum took a extra subdued function, scoring simply 12 however dishing 9 assists and grabbing eight rebounds. For the Sixers, Joel Embiid and James Harden had large nights, combining for 54 factors, however their supporting solid couldn’t hold tempo with the all-hands-on-deck effort of the Celtics.
On the defensive finish, early returns on the shorthanded frontcourt going through Embiid seemed about the way you’d anticipate. Boston’s beginning frontcourt consisted of Grant Williams and the seldom-used Blake Griffin, and Embiid rapidly went to work on them, compiling 14 factors within the first quarter — together with 10 straight throughout one stretch. The shock, although, got here on the opposite finish, as Griffin and Williams placed on their very own little three-point shootout a bit of over per week earlier than the precise factor. They mixed for 5 threes within the opening body, and the Celtics lead 30-27 coming into the second.
The torrid scoring tempo of the primary quarter slowed within the second, however the Celtics maintained a balanced offensive assault that managed to push their edge ever so barely. Of the eight Celtics to take the courtroom within the first half, solely Sam Hauser recorded fewer than two made area targets within the quarter, whereas solely Williams recorded a double-figure scoring complete (11). Embiid pushed his first-half scoring output to 19 factors — with Harden including 13 — however the Celtics added some extent to their lead on the halftime break, 59-55.
The shorthanded Celtics misplaced one other essential piece because the second half started. Late within the second quarter, Brown took an elbow to the jaw in a collision with Tatum, and as play resumed after the break, it was introduced that he would miss the rest of the sport with a facial contusion. Brogdon shifted into the beginning lineup because the third quarter started, and Boston must face down the remainder of this sport down 4 of their common starters.
Fortunately, the Blake Griffin Present wasn’t fairly over but. The 33-year-old large man pushed his level complete to fifteen early within the third quarter behind two extra made three-pointers — his most in a sport since 2020 with the Nets. He helmed a role-player-centric effort from the Celtics within the quarter, as gamers like Griffin, Williams and Hauser offered the scoring punch whereas Tatum was content material to puppeteer the offense to the tune of 9 assists by three quarters. The Celtics received their third straight quarter, and entered the ultimate body with a seven level benefit, 86-79.
The 2 groups traded baskets by the early minutes of the fourth quarter, earlier than a Hauser three (his fourth of the sport) pushed the Boston result in a game-high 10 factors and compelled a Doc Rivers timeout. Shortly thereafter, Brogdon constructed on a pleasant night time with an and-one floater. The Sixers weren’t fairly completed but, although, as Harden and Matisse Thybulle related on consecutive threes to convey them inside 4 factors with slightly below 4 minutes to play in regulation.
With simply over two minutes to play, White related on a pull-up three-pointer over Harden to provide the Celtics a 103-97 benefit. It proved to be the dagger — Tatum attacked the basket with simply over 30 seconds remaining in regulation to place the Celtics up by eight, and that was all she wrote.
Subsequent up, the Celtics keep at dwelling for his or her second consecutive nationwide tv sport, internet hosting the Charlotte Hornets this Friday at 7:30 PM on ESPN.