After a blistering shooting exhibition by the Sixers(19-20), the Celtics(34-10) used a 37-22 third quarter to build a lead and never looked back. Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown each had 20-point nights, and the Celtics were able to dominate on the glass 46-37.
The first quarter was the JJ Redick show, as he went 4-5 on threes in the first quarter for 16 points. The Celtics’ seemed to have left their offense back home in the US. The ball wasn’t really moving and shots weren’t falling as a result.
Everything was clicking for the Sixers in the first half, while nothing was going Boston’s way. Jayson Tatum, Kyrie Irving, and Terry Rozier were blowing open layups, while Ben Simmons knocked down turnaround jumpers. The Sixers shot 56% from the field and 58% from three through the first two quarters.
Then the third quarter happened. Philadelphia is one of the worst third quarter teams in the NBA, and Boston took well advantage of that, turning over the Sixers 19 times. Holding Joel Embiid to 6-17 shooting also helps, and it seems that the Celtics do a solid job on the Sixers’ center on a consistent basis.
Irving struggled from the field in the first half, going 4-14, but opened up the third quarter with a pair of sweet threes to start the second half domination.
Marcus Morris was a force off the bench, totaling 19 points on 7-13 shooting. He was able to get to his spots and knock down shots with confidence before getting into it with Ben Simmons.
Al Horford had his almost-triple double as well, putting in 13 points eight rebounds and seven assists. He did an excellent job on Embiid and Simmons on the defensive end, and did what he does on a nightly basis which is make the right play almost every time down the floor.
Tatum was also key in the second half in creating offense at the beginning of the third quarter along with Irving. He finished with 16 points along with this pretty pull-up jump shot.
With all of the ugliness that went into the first half of this game, the Celtics truly turned up their defense and let their offense capitalize on Philadelphia’s mistakes.
The seventh straight victory marks the second longest streak of the season for the Celtics, the longest of course being the 16-game win streak. The Celtics also improve to a record of 5-0 while coming off of more than a day’s rest.
Boston will return to the TD Garden to play the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday at 7:30 EST.