PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid had 25 points and 13 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers used a dominating start on Friday night for a 111-99 win over the Boston Celtics.
Embiid finished five points away from setting a franchise record with 30 or more points in nine straight games. He is tied with Allan Iverson and Wilt Chamberlain for the club mark with eight in a row.
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The game turned on Philadelphia’s 28-2 first-quarter run.
Tyrese Maxi scored 23 points, and Tobias Harris and Seth Curry added 17 each to help the 76ers win for the eighth time in nine games.
For Boston, Jaylen Brown scored 21 points and Jason Tatum scored 20 points. The Celtics had won three in a row.
Both teams played the first half back-to-back, with Boston coach Ime Udoka dropping his start with 9:17 and trailing 89–72.
Philadelphia took a 22-point lead in the first half, and the Celtics never cut the double-digit gap after halftime.
Embiid has been in tears since December 26, boosting his season average to 27.1 points per game as he entered Friday, averaging 32.6 points after an eight-game stretch.
Things heated up with 28.8 seconds into the quarter when Josh Richardson hard-fouled Mattis Thiebull during Thyboul’s breakaway attempt. The players came together, but no punches were thrown. Richardson, who played for the 76ers with Thiebull during the 2019–20 season, was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul and was issued technicals to both Thiebull and Grant Williams.
Thiebull was in the middle of another Flagrant 1 with 7:35 left in the third quarter when Dennis Schröder pushed Thiebull from behind on his way to a fast-break dunk. Thybule came down hard on his back but remained in the game.
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Embiid received a technical after scoring and was fouled with 2:19 in the third for a clear elbow at Peyton Pritchard’s direction.
Celtics: Marcus Smart (Health and Safety Protocol), Boston’s fourth-leading scorer (11.6 ppg), did not play for a second straight competition.
76ers: Danny Green (right hip) is out. It was his 12th missed game this season. “That’s one of those years,” said coach Doc Rivers. …Shake Milton (back) sat in the fifth straight, and Rivers said he was nowhere near a comeback.
Celtics: Falls 8-14 on the road. … Trail Season Series 2-1. The teams are due to meet once again on February 15 in Philadelphia. … Robert Williams III had 12 points and 14 rebounds.
76ers: The lineup in Philadelphia improved to 9-9 at home and 8-6 with Embiid.
Celtics: Host Chicago on Saturday Night.
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76ers: Saturday night in Miami.