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Celtics Wrap: Boston Back Below .500 After 106-96 Loss To 76ers

The Boston Celtics hoped to find a way around the mighty Philadelphia 76ers, but that simply didn’t happen.

Philadelphia was in control for all but one quarter of its 106-96 win over Boston at TD Garden on Tuesday. The Sixers traded leads with the Celtics in the first, but things went down for Beantown from there despite a decent shooting night.

Jayson Tatum got off to another slow start, but finished the game with 20 points, four rebounds and four assists.

The Celtics hoped Robert Williams would make a difference against Joel Embiid, but foul trouble kept him from doing so. He finished the night with just four points, though he did record nine rebounds.

The Celtics fell to 25-26 while the Sixers climbed to 35-16.

Here’s how it all went down.

PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jason Tatum
C: Robert Williams

It did not always feel like it, but there was not much daylight on the scoreboard between the two teams to start the game.

Embiid led the Sixers with 12 points of 3-of-5 shooting (60%) and four rebounds in the first quarter. Williams tried to keep up, but made his way to the bench late in the frame after recording his third foul in under six minutes played.

Brown was one of the Celtics’ long bright spots with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting (75%), although Smart’s five points and Walker’s three assists were some help.

The teams traded leads throughout the quarter, but Philly ultimately took a one-point lead into the second. That’s a credit to the Celtics, who had seven turnovers and as many fouls in the first 12 minutes alone.

It did not take long for things to fall apart for Boston.

The C’s maintained a small lead to start the quarter, but the Sixers switched things up shortly before halftime.

Philly went on a 19-2 run late in the second that flipped its three-point deficit to a 15-point advantage in a matter of minutes. Danny Green capitalized on the Celtics’ lackluster defense and came away with 14 points without missing a single shot.

The Celtics could not keep up on offense either, despite shooting 48.6% from the field. Tatum was not much help — hitting just two of his nine shots (22.2%) in the first half — which forced the bench to pick up the slack.

The Sixers took a 59-46 lead into the second half. Williams did not play a single minute in the second quarter thanks to his early foul problems.

Boston’s 14 turnovers are the most the team has given up in a single half this season, per Forbes’ Chris Grenham. Smart (five) and Brown (three) combined for more than half.

It was much of the same for both sides in the third.

Williams finally returned to the court early, but quickly returned to the bench after picking up his fourth foul of the game after less than three minutes on the court. He later returned and finished the quarter with four more rebounds.

Embiid built momentum again after a slow second quarter. He put up 11 more points on 50% shooting and collected two more rebounds.

Tatum found a rhythm, too, and put up 10 points of his own. He still shot just 33.3% through three, though.

Philly entered the final frame up 80-75.

Try as they might, the Celtics just could not trim back the Sixers’ lead.

Philly’s lead hovered around 14 throughout the quarter. Embiid led all scorers with an impressive 35 points and six rebounds despite four turnovers.

Williams fouled out after 14 minutes on the court.

The two teams had nearly identical nights shooting-wise. The C’s completed 33 of 70 (47.1%) while the Sixers finished 34 of 73 shots (46.6%).

Boston trimmed the Sixers’ lead to 10 in the final moments, but ultimately fell short of its third straight win.

The Sixers returned to the win column with their 106-96 victory at TD Garden.

Please enjoy this metaphor for Tuesday’s game.

Boston has yet another quick turnaround before hosting the New York Knicks on Wednesday night. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.

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