Thursday, November 16, 2023

Celtics 117, 76ers 107: Jayson Tatum, Derrick White lead short-handed C's past Philly in rematch

The short-handed Celtics got their revenge in a 117-107 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Derrick White netted 14 of his 27 points (7-of-12 from the field and 4-of-8 from deep) in the fourth quarter, to go along with five assists. Jayson Tatum had a game-high 29 points on 10-of-23 shooting (4-of-10 from 3), eight rebounds and six assists, while Jrue Holiday added 18 points, 10 rebounds to lead the C's to their fourth straight win and avenge a loss in Philly just seven days ago.

Al Horford, who finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and five blocks, and Sam Hauser (eight points) were inserted into the starting lineup, as Boston played without Jaylen Brown (non-COVID related illness) and Kristaps Porzingis (knee) to improve to 9-2 on the season (best record in the East).
"Everyone has to step it up a little bit," said White in his postgame comments. "Obviously, guys like J.B. and K.P., you can't do what they do. But you have to step it up just a little bit and I think that a lot of guys stepped up tonight."
Joel Embiid (nine rebounds, seven assists) and Tyrese Maxey each scored 20 points respectively to lead the 76ers, while Tobias Harris, Robert Covington and De'Anthony Melton each registered 16 points for Philadelphia -- who fell to 8-3 after two straight losses on back-to-back nights following their eight-game win-streak getting snapped.

The matchup between the two top teams in the Eastern Conference featured 11 different lead changes and five ties, as Boston was ahead by as many as 17 at one point.

Boston went on a 20-4 run midway through the second quarter, before the Sixers responded with a 21-4 spurt of their own to closeout the half and take their first lead of the game (58-57) into intermission.

After holding Philadelphia to just 17 points in the third, the Celtics had an 83-75 advantage to start the final frame. With the C's up 102-98, Horford swatted a driving layup by Maxey that turned into a 3-pointer by White on the other end to push the 76ers' deficit to seven with 4:38 left to play.

Horford hit another long ball -- his fourth in eight attempts -- as a part of a 10-5 run for Boston to end the game. The 37-year-old veteran made just his third start of the season, but proved he can still play major minutes and make an impact on both ends of the floor when called upon.
"The only difference is the starting and the not starting," Horford said in his postgame presser. "Besides that, this is what I do for the most part. If I have to guard on the perimeter, guard on the post, create energy in different ways, shoot 3s, I'm trying to do whatever I can to help our group."
The Celtics are tied with the Denver Nuggets for the best record in the league, as they'll travel north of the border to face the Toronto Raptors (5-6) for the second time in a week. The In-Season Tournament game tips-off at 7:30 pm ET.

Game Notes:

Boston hit 47.7% from the floor, including 18-of-50 (36%) from 3-point territory, while the Sixers were 45.9% from the field and 11-of-30 (36.7%) from deep. The Celtics out-rebounded Philadelphia 45-41, but were outscored in the paint 54-40. The C's dished out 23 assists (10 turnovers) on 42 baskets and the 76ers had 18 dimes (nine turnovers) on 39 made shots.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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