The Celtics stretched their NBA-best winning streak to nine games Tuesday night, and did so with an exclamation point. Boston went into Philadelphia and earned a wire-to-wire blowout win, beating the 76ers 135-87.
An 11-3 run to start the game was sparked by eight points from Jaylen Brown. Brown finished the quarter with 11, and the Celtics had a 32-22 lead after one.
With Joel Embiid on the bench to start the second quarter, the Celtics extended their lead with a 10-0 run. Once again, it was Jaylen Brown leading the charge. He had another 15 points in the quarter, capping it with a buzzer-beater that gave the C’s a 69-42 lead at the half.
The blowout continued to build into the second half. A 16-6 run helped Boston run the lead up to a game-high 45 points by the end of the third quarter, and the score was 101-58 heading into the fourth.
Boston’s lead continued to grow in the fourth quarter, reaching 51 points. Both teams went deep into their bench for the majority of the quarter.
After his impressive first half performance, Brown was able to take it easy in the second. He finished with a game-high 29 points in 29 minutes, shooting 10-of-17. Jayson Tatum was right behind him with a 28-point, 12-rebound double-double.
Off the bench, Aaron Nesmith led the way with a career-high 18 points. Derrick White had 11, and Sam Hauser scored nine while shooting 3-of-5 from deep.
On the other end of the floor, the Celtics limited MVP frontrunner Joel Embiid. Embiid, who has given the Celtics fits this season, scored just 19 points and had nine rebounds.
One down note for the Celtics – starting point guard Marcus Smart left this game in the second quarter with an ankle injury and did not return. The team initially reported he has a ‘right ankle sprain.’
With the win, the Celtics are now 34-25 this season. Not only have they won nine in a row, but 11 of their last 12 as well.
This game was the first half of a back-to-back, as the Celtics wrap up the first half of their schedule Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons at TD Garden. That game will be their final before the All-Star break. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning at 7 on 98.5 The Sports Hub.