NBA regular season

Jayson Tatum-led Celtics hang on to edge Sixers

Jayson Tatum-led Celtics hang on to edge Sixers

BIG GAME. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum drives past Sixers guard Seth Curry.

Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Celtics escape the Sixers by a point as Robert Williams blocks Georges Niang’s desperation trey the buzzer

Jayson Tatum had 26 points and a career-high 16 rebounds as the Boston Celtics outlasted the visiting Philadelphia 76ers, 88-87, in a matchup of Eastern Conference contenders on Wednesday night, December 1  (Thursday, December 2, Manila time).

Dennis Schroder added 13 points off the bench for Boston, which won its second straight game and has won five out of seven overall.

Al Horford totaled 10 points and 8 rebounds, Robert Williams III added 10 points, and Jaylen Brown finished with 9 points on 3-of-11 shooting for the Celtics.

Brown played despite being questionable as the team continues to manage his return from a hamstring injury.

Seth Curry led the 76ers with 17 points. Shake Milton contributed 16 points off the bench while Boston-area native Georges Niang added 12 points for Philadelphia, which was defeated for the ninth time in 12 games.

Sixers star Joel Embiid was held to 13 points on 3-of-17 shooting, but grabbed a game-high 18 boards and dished out 6 assists.

Embiid made one of two free throws with 2:14 to play to tie the game at 82. Boston scored 6 of the next 8 points to go up 88-84 after Schroder’s five-footer with 37.1 seconds to play.

Danny Green nailed a trey with 29.6 seconds on the clock to bring the 76ers within a point, 88-87. Schroder missed a jumper on the other end with 7 seconds left to give the ball back to Philadelphia.

After a timeout with 6.1 seconds to play, Niang’s desperation corner triple at the buzzer was blocked by Williams to seal the Boston victory.

Brown’s three-pointer at 6:35 of the first quarter capped a game-opening 16-4 run for the Celtics. Tobias Harris’ ensuing dunk sparked a 16-5 push for the 76ers to pull within 21-20 after one period. 

Boston led 44-40 at halftime and neither side was able to pull away in a back-and-forth closing half. The biggest separation came when Embiid knocked down a three-pointer with 4:10 left in the third to put Philadelphia up 59-54.

The Celtics led 64-63 entering the fourth quarter. –