After a sleepy start offensively, the Boston Celtics battled back from 22 points down to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers 114 – 103 in London after out scoring the Sixers 66-46 in the second half. Jaylen Brown and Kyrie Irving led the way with 21 and 20 points respectively. Marcus Morris also provided 19 points off the bench. J.J. Redick led Philadelphia in scoring with 21 points on five made 3 point shots. Boston won this one thanks in large part to its league-best defense and a second half surge of offense.
- Almost no part of the Boston offense looked good through the first two and a half quarters, but Jaylen Brown was one guy who stood out and played with a lot of energy even when the shots weren’t falling for anyone. Brown hit a three in each of the first two quarters and looked for his drive all half, sparking the C’s offense at times. It’s very promising to see a player as young as Brown fight through first half adversity in a game like this one. It seems that Coach Stevens encourages Jaylen to be aggressive to start games and I’m a huge fan of it. Unsurprisingly, Jaylen finished as a team-best +34.
- Marcus Morris cutting through a horrific first quarter from the C’s with 7 points is a perfect example of why Boston needs him healthy for the playoffs. His scoring ability will be needed on a second unit that goes through as many dry spells as this team does.
- The defensive versatility of this Boston team really stands out when the Celtics play the Sixers. Brad Stevens started the game with Horford checking Simmons but we saw Morris and Brown on him at times as well. Horford was either guarding Simmons or Embiid tonight – very impressive and very telling of how important Horford is to this team’s success.
- Jayson Tatum had 2 points on 3 shots and was a -22 at halftime but came out red hot in the 3rd, scoring 11 in the quarter and from all over the court. Tatum was the first guy from the starting lineup subbed out again tonight and couldn’t get his offense going with the bench in the first half, so his nice 3rd quarter makes me wonder if Brad will reconsider Tatum being the first subbed out of the starting five.
- Is Kyrie really an “international player” if he plays for the US Olympic team? A game in London like this certainly showcases his international popularity, drawing M-V-P chants a couple times.
- Both Jaylen and Jayson need to work on keeping their eyes up on drives towards the basket. Defenses collapse hard on those two when they drive and Boston always has open shooters on the perimeter. Both of them had a at least one really nice drive and kick out today.
A deeeeep three from Kyrie! #NBALondon
— NBA (@NBA) January 11, 2018
- If you’ve listened to any of J.J. Redick’s podcasts, you know he’s good friends with Ben Winston and James Corden, both from England and both now working in the US on the “Late Late Show with James Corden.” Wouldn’t be surprised if J.J. wanted to put on a good show for some friends in England and he did just that. Redick started the game with 3 first quarter threes and led all scorers with 18 points at halftime. J.J. finished the game with a team-high 21 points.
- Boston fans should be used to a rookie playing like a vet by now, but Ben Simmons is an amazingly unique player. He’s a matchup nightmare and can get himself in the paint as often as he wants. We also saw a couple of fall away jump shots from the paint that looked completely unguardable. I can’t wait to hate him for decades.
- I can’t help but think that Dario Saric is more than a spot up shooter, but it seems that’s exactly what his role is at times on the court for Philadelphia. He looks like he should have the ball in his hands as a playmaker more often.
- The Sixers bench was pretty awful in this one. TJ McConnell played pretty well in this game but after that the Sixers had absolutely no help from the subs. I anticipated seeing more of Trevor Booker as well.
- Shocking that a team whose name celebrates American independence can’t win in London.
The Celtics now have a few more days off before returning to the parquet against future-Celtics Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday. These same Sixers follow them in a week from now. The Celtics have now won 13 of their last 14 against Philadelphia.
Latest posts by Grant Engebretsen (see all)
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