76ers get destroyed by the Boston Celtics at home 135-87, as the city of Philadelphia waits to care about basketball again until James Harden’s debut
You know that feeling when you’re stuck at work just a few days away from going on vacation? That feeling where everything sucks and you’re just going through the motions, finding yourself being completely useless? That is exactly what the Philadelphia 76ers looked like tonight, getting their lids blown off by the Boston Celtics, 135-87.
To be clear, I debated just writing a title to this recap, then posting a video of James Harden saying “hell yeah” this 76ers team can win a championship, but while you’re here, we might as well recap the game.
The Sixers didn’t hold a lead at ANY point during the game, ending their league-leading streak of 69 (nice) straight games holding a lead. Absolutely horrible performance from the Sixers, who might have been experiencing a bit of a hangover after introducing James Harden in Camden earlier today.
Ugly First Half
The 76ers shot just 34% from the field and 27% from deep, they struggled to penetrate the paint and took terrible shots that wouldn’t fall from the perimeter. Boston made 12 three point shots compared the Philadelphia’s four. The Sixers shot just 12/35 from the floor for the half.
Joel Embiid had a quiet half from the field 17 points and the majority of those coming from the free throw line (11/14), and didn’t get much help from his teammates. For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 42 points and shot a total of 13/23 from the field.
The Sixers were outmatched defensively, and out hustled in every other aspect of the game which ultimately led to their 27 point deficit going into halftime.
Uglier Second Half
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, things got much worse. Philadelphia was outscored 32-16 in the third quarter and fell to a deficit as large as 51 points. Nothing fell for the Sixers and conversely, everything was working for Boston. The Sixers ended the game their third lowest point total on the season, which was a microcosm of how this game played out.
Joel Embiid had a difficult time scoring the ball tonight which is something we haven’t said very often this season, ending with just 19 points. This was the end to an incredible streak of games where Joel Embiid scored 25+ points, cutting him off at 23 consecutive games reaching that landmark. This was the first time since December 23rd that he didn’t score more than 25 points in a game, which is honestly incredible.
He was stifled by Boston’s strong interior defenders and hindered by the Sixers’ inability to hit perimeter shots. He was still able to draw fouls and get to the free throw line, but that is where his offensive production started and ended.
The Philadelphia 76ers have one more game before the All-Star break in Milwaukee on Thursday night. Let’s just hope they show up and close out the first half of the season on a good note. If they aren’t into it and would rather wait, maybe we send the Delaware Blue Coats to face the Bucks and get an early start on vacation.
As James Harden said earlier today, “it’s go time” after the break.
Mandatory Credit: NBAE via Getty Images