76ers dismantle Celtics at Home, 111-99
The 76ers come into tonight’s ball game having won seven of their last eight games. That included a seven-game win streak that was cut short on Wednesday night against the Hornets. The silver lining from that loss, Joel Embiid reached eight-straight games scoring 30+ points, joining the elite 76ers company of Wilt Chamberlain and Allen Iverson.
Tonight, the Sixers got a chance to get back on track and Joel Embiid to pass two 76ers legends in the record books against the Celtics. Boston comes into the contest on their own winning streak of three, sitting an even 21-21 on the young season good for the 10th place in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers despite Wednesday’s loss to the Hornets remain over .500 with a 23-17 record good for the 5th seed in the East.
Early on the 76ers got to work correcting a lot of the issues present in that Charlotte game, defense. Against the Hornets, the Sixers were continually caught in transition leading to huge runs, but the first quarter against the C’s was much different. As a team the 76ers had six steals in the first quarter, disrupting Jayson Tatum’s rhythm early. Tatum would pick up two quick fouls in that quarter.
Thanks to the early stellar defense and early scoring from Maxey and Harris, the 76ers grabbed a 20-point lead by the middle of the second quarter. Tyrese Maxey would finish with 10 first-half points, with 6 of those coming in the first quarter thanks to two quick threes. Tobias Harris got back to his efficient scoring ways, finishing the half as the 76ers leading scorer with 11 on 5/9 shooting.
That 20-point lead I mentioned would carry over to the halftime break with the 76ers up 55-35. Yes, the Boston Celtics scored a measly 35 points in one half. Jayson Tatum, who’s currently averaging nearly 26-points a game had just five in the half on 2-10 shooting to go along with three personal fouls and a tech. Al Horford did absolutely nothing with his time on the court except a pair of fouls and five points, to the joy of Sixers fans all around.
Joel Embiid would have himself a quiet first half despite the historic implications of tonight’s matchup with just 10 points. That’s partly due to his 3-8 shooting, but also because everyone was getting involved offensively in the first half. Four starters scored at least eight points in the first two frames, and with the Sixers very much in control, the record looked to be in jeopardy.
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The third quarter saw much of the same for the 76ers, with the starters playing a majority of the minutes helping keep the Celtics far out of the contest. Four starters would jump into double figures, as Joel Embiid would take over as leading scorer with 22 points still hunting that nine-game 30+ points streak. The Celtics would cut the halftime deficit to 17 as their stars Tatum and Brown would get going in the third frame, finishing the quarter with 16 and 19.
Matisse Thybulle would tie some of his own records in the NBA during the third quarter, but not after a very scary play. Thybulle would grab a characteristic steal and while slamming the easy dunk home would fall flat on his back. Upon looking at the replay Celtic’s guard Dennis Schroder may have initiated some contact onto Matisse mid-air. The refs would charge Schroder a flagrant one foul, and luckily for the 76ers Thybulle would re-enter the game after a timeout to make sure he was alright. Thybulle would end the game with a season-high five steals, which tied his career-high.
The fourth quarter saw myself and I assume a majority of 76ers fans watch to see if Joel Embiid would in fact break the franchise record for most 30+ point games in a row. The Celtics would wave the white flag, not bringing in any starters for the entire final frame. Joel would, unfortunately, finish five points short, leaving a three-way tie for the 30+ points streak record in 76ers history. The silver lining is four starters finish the win with 17 points, with Tyrese Maxey and Seth Curry each hitting five triples.
The 76ers take down the Celtics 111-99. With the win against Boston Philly moves to 24-17 on the season with a brutal stretch up ahead. The Sixers have a game tomorrow night in Miami taking on the Heat and will play two more games by Wednesday against the Wizards and Magic. With the records of the 76ers franchise rewritten, it is time for Philly to prove they’re a force in the eastern conference.
Mandatory Credit: Tim Nwachukwu.