"He's gone through a lot and to think that somebody that has played (63) games cumulatively, and just for that small sample size is on the All-Star team and starting". The Celtics scored a season low 80 points and shot just 7/29 from three. Boston lacked its typical aggression early on and didn't make a single trip to the free-throw line until late in the third quarter.
After Jayson Tatum's corner-3 pulled the game to within seven - bringing his team to single-digit territory for the first time since the first half - the Celtics failed to capitalize.
All of that helped to overshadow a amusing moment earlier in the day that with some other National Basketball Association players might have made a bigger wave on social media, but with Embiid, it was just another day in the life. He had 26 points and completely owned the boards with 16.
- T.J. McConnell is blossoming into the scoring threat off the bench that the Sixers need. Without their star and point guard, Boston is a completely different team. That is a huge step-up for a franchise that was created to lose games just a few years ago, and it will bolster their chances at landing a top free agent this summer. If Irving had gotten it, he would have needed to edge out James in the East. The Celtics did show fight in the fourth quarter with their hustle and their unwillingness to give up.
Dario Saric scored 16 for Philadelphia, which won for the sixth time in seven games and ended a three-game losing streak against Boston.
Understandably, Irving is a massive part of the Celtics' offense.
The Celtics had few answers for Embiid as Philly built as much as a 21-point lead. "So we've gotta do a better job of that, and they've gotta let us touch him". Boston curbed its mistakes on the offensive end, turning the ball over just once during the final 12 minutes, while intensifying their play on the defensive end to force seven Philadelphia turnovers.
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