NBA regular season

Severely shorthanded, Celtics still top 76ers

Severely shorthanded, Celtics still top 76ers

ALL-STARS. Celtics forward Jayson Tatum looks for an opening against Sixers center Joel Embiid.

David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Celtics played much of the game without four regular starters but the league leaders still pulled through against Joel Embiid and the Sixers

Jayson Tatum collected 12 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds to lead the depleted Boston Celtics to a 106-99 victory over the visiting Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, February 8 (Thursday, February 9, Manila time).

Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon each scored a team-high 19 points for Boston. Blake Griffin (15), Grant Williams (15), and Sam Hauser (14) also scored in double figures for the Celtics, who played much of the game without four regular starters. Williams and Hauser each grabbed 8 rebounds.

Boston’s Jaylen Brown left the game with 1:27 left in the first half after he collided with Tatum and suffered a facial contusion. He did not return.

Boston was also without point guard Marcus Smart (ankle), center Al Horford (knee swelling), and center Robert Williams (ankle).

Joel Embiid led the 76ers with a game-high 28 points and 7 rebounds. Philadelphia also got 26 points and 11 assists from James Harden. Embiid entered the game averaging an NBA-best 33.4 points per game.

Made three-pointers were the main difference in the game. Boston connected on 19 of its 35 three-point attempts, while Philadelphia was 10-of-30.

Griffin led the Celtics with five made three-pointers. Grant Williams and Hauser each had four, and White finished with three.

And White’s triple with 2:09 to play doubled a three-point lead and allowed the Celtics to keep the 76ers at bay.

The Celtics led 30-27 after one quarter and extended their lead to 12 points, 47-35, when a Tatum trey capped an 8-0 run with 5:23 remaining in the second quarter. Boston led 59-55 at halftime.

Philadelphia trailed by one, 80-79, following an Embiid layup with 1:21 left in the third, but the Celtics increased their lead to 86-79 by the end of quarter. Boston led 95-85 when Hauser made a three-pointer with 8:20 to play.

It was the second of four meetings between the teams this season. The Celtics won 126-117 in Boston on opening night. They will battle in Philadelphia on February 25 and April 4. – 

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