Boston Celtics

Dec 20, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) shoots against the Boston Celtics in the first quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid led all scorers with 41 points and scored nine in the final minute and a half, earning the Philadelphia 76ers a 108-103 road win over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on Monday night.

Embiid shot 14-for-27 from the floor and 12-for-14 from the free throw line, adding 10 rebounds, five assists, and four blocked shots. It was a mostly tightly contested affair, as neither team led by double digits at any point.

Jayson Tatum scored just 17 points on 5-for-14 shooting, and went 0-for-3 from three-point range. He did contribute nine rebounds and six assists, but didn’t score on 0-for-4 shooting in the final 11:21 of the game.

Philadelphia built a slight early advantage and maintained it for more than half the game. The Celtics didn’t take their first lead until 1:27 into the third quarter, when C’s leading scorer Jaylen Brown made his free throws after stealing the ball and getting fouled. From there, the third featured six lead changes.

Brown scored 12 of his 30 points in the third alone. Boston went ahead for with 45.5 seconds left in the quarter, and held the lead until a Danny Green three-pointer put the Sixers back on top with just 1:43 left in regulation.

Embiid then took over, draining jump shots of 14, 16, and 17 feet in a span of 70 seconds. The run gave the Sixers a four-point lead with 12 seconds to go.

The Celtics played the game without seven players due to the NBA’s health & safety protocols, and only nine players total. Sam Hauser, Juancho Hernangomez, Al Horford, Jabari Parker, Josh Richardson, Brodric Thomas, and Grant Williams all had to miss the game for COVID-19-related reasons.

Payton Pritchard stepped up again for the shorthanded Celtics off the bench, scoring 14 points in 25 minutes. It was only the third time all season that Pritchard scored in double digits. He’s scored 30 points in his last two games, after scoring 58 combined in 23 games to start the season.

The Celtics remain scheduled to face the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Garden on Wednesday and the Milwaukee Bucks on Christmas Day, pending potential updates due to COVID-19 concerns.

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