Earlier this week, Tobias Harris mentioned one thing the Celtics ought to particularly perceive, when he known as Sixers teammate Joel Embiid “MVP-caliber.”
However the Celtics had no alternative of their second straight recreation making an attempt to get between Embiid and the basket. They only needed to make their double groups that rather more efficient, and someway foul much less.
For probably the most half they had been higher, too, “limiting” Embiid to 38 factors. However as an alternative of the Celtics filling that hole, Ben Simmons got here alive down the stretch of the Celtics’ 122-110 loss to Philadelphia.
It not solely was the Celtics’ third straight loss, however enabled Philadelphia to knock the C’s out of first place within the Jap Convention.
Thus wasted was a 42-point efficiency by Jaylen Brown, who tied his profession scoring excessive.
The Celtics had been surprised early by the primary quarter departure of rookie Payton Pritchard, who was helped off the ground after spraining his proper knee. Assessments will give a clearer image of the damage, although the preliminary sight of Pritchard on the ground, holding his knee, was not one.
Marcus Good’s floater with 6:28 left not solely prolonged a Celtics run to 7-0 – it minimize what had been an 11-point Philadelphia result in 101-96. Brown kicked off the burst together with his fourth 3-pointer of the night time.
Two empty Sixers possessions later – the second with Tristan Thompson blocking Seth Curry – Brown was fouled off the break and hit the second of two free throws.
Walker checked again into the sport with 5:09 left and the Celtics trailing by 4, till Ben Simmons scored off a tip-in. Brown buried his fifth 3-pointer of the night time, however Simmons got here again with a three-point play off the break for a 106-100 Philly lead.
Simmons then picked off a Walker go and dunked for a 108-100 edge with 4:18 left. Thompson missed and Simmons kicked out to help on a Tobias Harris 3-pointer. Simmons continued his roll, this time with a drive for a 113-100 lead heading into the final three minutes.
Philadelphia, regardless of missing a foul-saddled Embiid, closed out the third quarter sturdy for a 91-80 lead. Matisse Thybulle opened the fourth from downtown for a 14-point lead, and with Walker on the ground rather than Brown, and Embiid nonetheless on the bench, Semi Ojeleye checked in simply on time to bury a 3-pointer, chopping the Philly result in 94-85 with 10:04 left.
However Furkan Korkmaz answered from downtown for an eight-point lead, Thompson scored off a tip-in and Embiid, again within the recreation, hit from 18 toes for his twenty ninth level and, following a Brown transition drive, posted up Tristan Thompson.
Brown hit from downtown, Javonte Inexperienced dunked after stealing an Embiid go, and with 6:28 Good drove to attain off a floater.
Brown, whose 3-pointer staked the Celtics to a 52-49 halftime lead, had 17 factors and three 3-pointers on the break, to go together with one other 11 factors on 5-for-9 capturing from Walker.
Pritchard left within the first quarter with what the crew described as a sprained proper knee, although checks will inform extra as soon as the crew returns to Boston.
However the Celtics had been far more profitable defending Embiid the second time round, with the Philly heart selecting up three fouls – two within the offensive finish. He had 16 factors on 6-for-7 capturing on the break, however this time with solely 4 tried free throws.
Embiid additionally opened Philly scoring within the third with a 3-pointer, beginning a fast 5-0 run for a quick one-point lead, however the Celtics returned to what had labored earlier – doubling Embiid within the paint and never backing down as soon as he tried to energy his approach to the rim.
However even when Embiid received a name, Brown was there to reply, occurring a one-man 5-0 run at one stage for a 69-63 lead.
The Sixers had moved up by 4 factors when Embiid picked up his fourth foul on a Brown drive for a three-point play. However Philly managed to carry onto its slim lead, placing on a late run to shut out the quarter with a 91-80 lead.