Boston Celtics

Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers were too much for the Boston Celtics, winning 89-80, at the TD Garden Thursday night.

Prior to tip-off, it was announced Kyrie Irving (shoulder) would be out of the Celtics’ second game against the Sixers, since playing last Thursday in London. And it was Marcus Smart who got the starting nod in Irving’s place.

About halfway through the first, Marcus Morris would take an inadvertent shot to the face from Daniel Theis. Morris would leave for a short time and later return to the floor after receiving treatment for the training staff.

The offense sputtered for a bit in the first when Smart and Al Horford took a breather. And the 76ers were able to take advantage on the offensive end to take a 21-19 lead to close out the first.

Check out the Jo Jo White video tribute from the first quarter at the Garden:

Within the first 13:00, the Celtics committed eight turnovers and ended the first-half with fifteen total. But yet the Sixers were only to capitalize with eight points off of the turnovers.

Entering halftime, Jaylen Brown and Semi Ojeleye were the only Celtics without a turnover.

The Celtics’ offensive struggles continued through the first half, with them shooting only 15 percent from three (2-13) and falling behind 39-32 at halftime.

With less than five minutes to play in the third, the Celtics fell behind by 17 (56-39) for 10th time this year.

It took a while for the Celtics to get to the charity stripe tonight. It wasn’t until the 3:39 mark in the third that they finally attempted their first free throw of the game. Each team ended up attempting 17 free throws a piece.

The slopfest continued through the third for both teams, with the Celtics and Sixers continuing to turn the ball over. But it was the Sixers who were dominating the boards, out-rebounding the C’s 33-to-24. At this point in the game, Horford only had one rebound and Morris was leading the team with five.

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The Sixers took an 18-point lead into the fourth and led by as much as 21 in the third. The Celtics pushed to comeback in the game and pulled within eight in the last minute of the game, but it wasn’t enough.

Morris led all Celtics scorers with 14 points and six rebounds. Horford finished with 14 points, to go with three rebounds, with two coming in the fourth. Embiid had himself a double-double with 26 points and 16 rebounds, helping the Sixers out-rebound the C’s, 41-31. Ball security was an issue for both teams, with the Sixers finishing with 25 turnovers, compared to the Celtics’ 19.

Before the game, the league announced this year’s 2018 NBA All-Star Game starters, which included Kyrie Irving (fifth selection) and the 76ers Joel Embiid (first selection). Irving is expected to return to the floor Sunday afternoon as the Celtics look to snap a two-game losing streak against the Orlando Magic at the TD Garden.

Kyrie Irving’s response to All-Star Selection:

UP NEXT: The Celtics (34-12) will welcome the Orlando Magic (13-31) to Boston Sunday afternoon. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell live on 98.5 The Sports Hub, with pre-game coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. and tip-off set for 1:00 p.m.

—  By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com

John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at john.hardiman@bbgi.com.