Thursday, November 9, 2023

76ers 106, Celtics 103: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown struggle in second straight loss

The Celtics fell short of a late fourth quarter comeback in a 106-103 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Kristaps Porzingis led all scorers with 29 points on 10-of-19 from the field and a returning Derrick White (two-game absence for personal reasons) added 19 points. Jayson Tatum notched a double-double of 16 points, 15 rebounds, while Jaylen Brown struggled on 4-of-13 shooting (2-of-7 from 3-point territory) to record 11 points in the C's second consecutive loss -- falling to 5-2 on the season.

Joel Embiid finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and Tyrese Maxey added 25 points, nine rebounds to lead the 76ers to their sixth straight win and a 6-1 record to start the season.
"Any time you're playing against a great team, like Maxey and Embiid, if you're down 10, you're down 15 to 18 because of their ability to make shots," Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said in his postgame presser.
Tobias Harris had 17 points, nine rebounds and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 14 points, eight rebounds for Philly, who haven't loss since opening night.

Boston once again was held to under 40% shooting for the second time in two nights and only 15-of-47 from behind the arc, while being out-rebounded 56-43. They were outscored in the second quarter 39-27 and only put up 17 in the third period, before trailing by 10 heading into the final frame.

Tatum hit a 3-pointer (his one of two made on six attempts for the game) to cut Boston's deficit 94-87 with 6:37 left to play, but the Sixers responded with a 10-3 spurt to push it back to double-digits and the largest lead of the night.

Brown's 25-foot step back would complete a 13-2 spurt for the C's in less than two minutes to get within three (106-103) and 33.1 seconds remaining. Maxey was blocked by Brown on the ensuing play and the 76ers turned the ball over on a shot clock violation -- setting up a potential game-tying opportunity for Mazzulla, who called a timeout with 8.1 seconds left.

Despite Boston's late rally, Porzingis missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds giving Philly the victory.
"It was a really good look," Porzingis said in his postgame comments. "As I went into the shot, I kind of went into it as it was a mid-range shot. I jumped a little higher. I usually don't do that for 3s. I just shot it bad."
The Celtics return to TD Garden Friday to host the Brooklyn Nets (4-4) in their first In-Season Tournament matchup (7:30 pm ET ESPN tip-off), as part of a three-game mini-homestand. 

Game Notes:

Philadelphia was 44.2% from the floor, including 9-of-34 (26.5%) from 3-point territory, while dishing out 20 assists (14 turnovers) on 42 baskets. The Celtics had 28 dimes (13 turnovers) on 36 made shots and were outscored in the paint 56-40.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of USA Today

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