Boston Hard to Beat; Sixers Difficult to Win
By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Sat, 10 Feb 2024
The Boston Celtics remain hard to beat especially at their TD Garden. Without their superstar big man, the Philadelphia 76ers on the other hand, found it difficult to win even at their homecourt.
The Celtics (40-12) despite trailing for most of the first half, played hard enough to beat a surprisingly tough Washington Wizards (9-32) 133-129 to win their third straight since a rare home loss to the LA Lakers last Feb 2. They raised their lead to the second running and likewise streaking Cleveland Cavaliers (34-16) to five won games.
Philadelphia meanwhile continued their winning drought, now to eight games without center Joel Embiid, dropping a 127-121 defeat to the Atlanta Hawks (23-29). The Sixers (30-21) fell behind Boston by 9.5 won games and remained at fifth in the East.
Despite having a more than a complete lineup, Boston found itself trailing for most of the first two quarters of a high scoring game with the half ending at 71-64 in the Wizards favor.
The Celtics made their move in the third quarter outscoring the Wizards 36-16 to stake their biggest leads The Wizards outscored the Celts in the last quarter but the Boston lead was too big to be overcame.
Jason Tatum (35), Kristaps Porzinghis (34) and Jaylen Brown (18) led Boston. Jrue Holiday added 20 and Payton Peitchard 14.
Washington was spearheaded by Corey Kispeet and Deni Avdija both with 24 points. The Wiz also drew support from B. Coulbaly 21, Jordan Poole 19, Tyrus Jones and Kyle Kuzma both with 17.
Also without high scoring Tyrese Maxey for this game, Philadelphia fielded its two new trade acquisitions, Buddy Hield and Cam Payne who immediately delivered each with 20 points to support Kelly Oubre (28) Tobias Harris (21) and center Paul Reed (14).
But the Sixers trailed big early and never came nearer than the final score as the Hawks led by Trey Young (37), O. Okungwo (21) and Sadiq Bey (18) continue to hit consistently from the field and inside. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 13 and J. Johnson and D. Hunter added 11 each.
In other significant games; the Denver Nuggets fell to the Sacramento Kings 135-106 failing to keep pace with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the lead in the Western Conference. The LA Lakers whip the New Orleans Pelicans 139-122 ending the Pels winning run.
The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone 09215309477.
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