Hayward scores 26, Celtics beat 76ers again 112-109
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 13, 2019 12:05 PM
Boston Celtics' Gordon Hayward, left, drives past Los Angeles Clippers' Landry Shamet during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
By Rob Maaddi, Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Gordon Hayward scored 26 points, including a go-ahead three-pointer with 1:50 remaining, and the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 112-109 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time).
Al Horford had 23 and Jayson Tatum scored 20 and grabbed 10 rebounds to help the Celtics continued their dominance over the Sixers.
Playing without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who sprained his right knee Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time), the Celtics beat Philadelphia for the third straight meeting this season after defeating Philadelphia in five games in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season.
Joel Embiid had 23 points and 14 rebounds and Jimmy Butler scored 22 for Philadelphia.
Hayward’s triple from the corner put Boston up 105-103 and Marcus Smart added a free throw. The Sixers had a chance to tie when Jimmy Butler went to the line for three free throws but he missed two. After a turnover, Embiid lost the ball with under a minute left. Smart then blew past Ben Simmons for a dunk to extend the lead to 108-104 with 24 seconds left. Butler made a driving layup and a free throw to cut it to 108-107.
After Horford sank two free throws, Tobias Harris missed a three and Embiid put it back in with only 2.4 seconds left. Butler couldn’t get a desperation triple off in time before the buzzer sounded as the Sixers dropped their first game in three since acquiring Harris in a flurry of moves last week.
The Celtics answered the call in their first game since Marcus Morris questioned the team’s toughness after they surrendered leads of 28 points to the Clippers and 18 points to the Lakers on their home court.
Both teams are tied for the fourth spot in the East with a 36-21 record.
After trailing for nearly the entire first half, the Sixers opened the third quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 55-52 lead. JJ Redick’s three-pointer capped the run. Minutes later, Ben Simmons thrilled the crowd by driving around Tatum and throwing down a thunderous right-handed jam. But Tatum answered at the opposite end with a spin move around Embiid and dunk over Simmons.
The NBA said Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson did not break any league tampering rules when he spoke about possibly working with Simmons in the offseason. The investigation was initiated after it was revealed Sunday (Monday, PHL time) that Simmons wanted to meet with Johnson to talk about the art of being an elite point guard. Johnson complimented Simmons publicly on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Sixers GM Elton Brand said Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) he already told Simmons he wouldn’t allow it.
Celtics: Improved to 14-13 on the road. ... Horford was 6-for-23 from beyond the arc over his last 10 games before making 3-of-5. ... Morris had 17 points.
76ers: Fell to 23-7 at home. ... Embiid was 9-of-22, including 2-of-8 from three-point range. ... Harris was 0-for-6 beyond the arc.
Celtics: Host the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).
76ers: Visit the New York Knicks on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).