In The Post: Sixers Avoid Season Sweep with Win Over Celtics
A much-needed win for the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night, dropping the visiting Boston Celtics, 103-101. The game was closer than it needed to be in the end, but the Sixers simply had to have a victory over their division rival for their psyche in the event that they face off in the playoffs – avoiding a sweep was necessary. And their franchise player made sure that it happened.
Here’s what stood out:
- Joel Embiid came out on a mission following the loss to Milwaukee on Sunday night. With the game being broadcasted nationally, Embiid went off for a first-half double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds. 18 of which were in the first quarter. For a time, it looked like he would drop 30 by halftime. That’s how easy things looked for him. The MVP candidate finished with another fantastic performance. 52 points (20-25 FG, 12-13 FT), 13 rebounds, six assists, and two blocked shots. All but solidifying his first MVP award.
- After the game, head coach Doc Rivers said as much – “The MVP race is over. I’m really, like tonight we had, we couldn’t make shots. We had guys making shots. Would open shots. The man just scored half our points in an NBA game. And I’m biased, but the MVP race is over.” He’s right
- Malcolm Brogdon came off the bench for 13 first-half points for the Celtics, having his way again against the Sixers’ defense. Philadelphia is going to have to figure out how to defend Brogdon off the bench if they see them at some point in the playoffs. His 18 points outscored the entire Sixers bench with 10, Jalen McDaniels netted eight with Paul Reed adding two.
- Tyrese Maxey had his second consecutive off night when facing the Celtics. He scored just five points on 2 for 8 shooting from the floor. Maxey was also 1 for 4 from the three-point line. In the four matchups against Boston, the electric guard has been far from that versus their division opponent – after scoring 21 in the season opener at Boston, Maxey has contributed 19 total (6, 8, and 5) over those three games. This must be figured out should they face off in round two of the Eastern Conference playoffs in a few weeks. Tobias Harris had an identical shooting line in this game as Maxey. Something to keep tucked away for the postseason.