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Celtics deliver a Christmas gift with a 121-114 overtime win over the 76ers

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Kyrie Irving carried Boston to the OT win with 40 points and 10 rebounds

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

In a tightly contested Christmas Day matchup the Boston Celtics topped the Philadelphia 76ers 121-114 in overtime.

Kyrie Irving had it going for the Celtics in the first half, as he scored 23 of his 40 points before the break. He also tied the game late in regulation and drilled two huge three-pointers to put the game away in the extra period. Irving also grabbed 10 rebounds, including four on the offensive glass. This was arguably Irving’s signature performance as a Celtic to date.

After halftime it was Marcus Morris who carried the scoring load, as he scored 10 of his 23 points in the second half. Jayson Tatum added 23 points and 10 rebounds and had a huge block late in the fourth quarter.

For Philadelphia, Joel Embiid was a monster all game, as he finished with 34 points and 16 rebounds. Jimmy Butler overcame a 1-of-7 shooting start to finish with 24 points. And Ben Simmons played his typical all-around game with 11 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists.

As has been the case many times this season, the Celtics raced out to a double-digit lead in the first half. Unfortunately for Boston, they couldn’t hold that lead as Philadelphia used a 13-2 run in the third quarter to take the lead. During that third quarter, the Celtics reverted back to sloppy basketball featuring early-clock jumpers and bad turnovers, which led to bad defense on the other end.

In a back-and-forth fourth quarter, Wilson Chandler drilled one of his biggest shots as a 76er, putting Philly up 108-106. Irving came back to tie with a jumper of his own to send the game into overtime tied at 108.

In the extra period, the Sixers got things started with two free throws from Embiid and then a tough fall-away from Butler. Marcus Smart then compounded things by picking up a technical foul to give Philly the 5-0 run to start overtime.

But the Celtics weren’t done. They got a Tatum dunk, followed by Tatum finding Hayward on the lob. Then Kyrie Irving did Kyrie Irving things. He hit back-to-back triples to give the Celtics a 118-114 lead. The Celtics then salted the game away at the free throw line for the victory.