Robbed of Kelly Oubre Jr. and Nicolas Batum, the Sixers failed to go the distance the day after their epic battle against the Pacers. On the other side, the Celtics presented without two of their starters, Jaylen Brown (illness) and Kristaps Porzingis (knee). But like Indiana the day before, Joe Mazzulla’s troops were eager to redeem themselves a few days after losing on the same floor. And after a tough battle, they managed to dethrone Philadelphia from first place in the Eastern Conference.
The scenario was more or less the same as the day before, with the visitors taking control of the match very quickly, and the locals having to chase the score after a 10-0, sparked by the pair of Pritchard-Mykhailiuk 3-pointer and a dunk by Jrue Holiday, followed by a 7-0, this time highlighted by Derrick White’s 3-pointer (22-37).
After a good passage from the back couple of Springer-Maxey, Philly managed to hold on to a 10-0 score, while Joel Embiid was still on the bench (42-47)! De’Anthony Melton’s three-pointer and Tobias Harris’ two baskets, including a 2+1, allowed the locals to take the lead before halftime (53-52).
Philadelphia is still in the race
The euphoria did not last long as the Celtics regained control of the game very quickly after returning from the locker room, with a particularly sharp 3-pointer to swing the game again.
Jayson Tatum opened the ball, after which he was imitated by Al Horford who distinguished himself three times before displacing Sam Hauser for another long distance basket (71-75)! JT and Jrue Holiday then completed the scoring to increase the gap to +8 (75-83) twelve minutes from time.
Just like the day before, Philadelphia held on and came closer to its evening opponent again, thanks in particular to the efforts of Paul Reed, the two 3-point baskets of De’Anthony Melton and that of Tyrese Maxey to return to -1 (96 – 97). And Boston finally found the thread, with an interception to Joel Embiid and a basket in transition signed by Jayson Tatum, an Al Horford counter to Tyrese Maxey followed by a ball released well from the inside on the next play for Derrick White’s 3- pointer at the head of the racket (98-105).
The Sixers had just taken a big hit to the head and taken the lead when the Tatum-Horford pair scored two final baskets behind the arc to seal the tie (105-113). Winners 117-107, the Celtics are the new leaders in the East this morning.
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
– Tyrese Maxey not painted. Tyrese Maxey, author of 50 Points on Sunday, continued with a “back-to-back” that was frustrating to say the least, between the loss the day before to a fiery Tyrese Haliburton, and his more furious performance last night against the Sixers. symbolized by two actions. A first in which he complained about uncalled contacts on the wrist, apparently a little too intensely towards the referees since he received the very first technical foul of his career. At the very end of the match, when the score was 105-113 and he had just landed three shots, he put his team at -5 on a Jrue Holiday error. The slow motion clearly shows Jrue Holiday’s hand touching Tyrese Maxey’s, but the challenge the Celtics requested in the process was ultimately granted, ending the suspense as Jayson Tatum had widened the pass gap to +10.
– Hello from the elders. In the absence of the Brown-Porzingis tandem, Boston had to close ranks and rely on other individuals to get rid of Philly. This resulted in particular in the commitment and accuracy of the entire capable team who knew how to handle the ball and lost only 9 balls. But also players who have managed to raise their level, with the two former players of the house, Jrue Holiday and Al Horford, at the forefront. Jrue Holiday was a reliable and consistent benchmark throughout the meeting, coming away with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks! For his part, Al Horford was exceptional as a starting center at the age of 37 with 14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 blocks!
– Derrick White, king of the fourth quarter. If we had to name just one X-factor for this meeting, it might be him! True to form, Derrick White was valuable to the Celtics from start to finish, with special mention going to his thunderous fourth quarter in which he scored 14 of his 27 points. It was he who scored the first four points of the period for his team, before finishing to disgust the Sixers with two devastating 3-point baskets, at times when the locals were urging them to come back.
How to read the statistics? Min = Minutes; Shots = Successful shots / Attempted shots; 3 points = 3 points / 3 points attempted; LF = Free throws made / Free throws attempted; O = offensive rebound; D=defensive rebound; T = Total number of rebounds; Pd = assists; FTE: Personal fouls; Int = intercepted; Bp = Lost balls; Ct: Against; +/- = Point difference when the player is on the field; Points = Points; Eval: player evaluation calculated based on positive actions – negative actions.