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The Boston Celtics turned a 22-point deficit into a nine-point victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, as they win their seventh straight game 114-103.

Both teams traveled to London with impressive win streaks, the Celtics being winners of six straight and the Sixers of four. The unorthodox schedule had no effect on Philly, who started the game 9-14 from the field to take an early lead on Boston. Fast-paced offenses from both squads in the opening quarter led to tons of shot attempts. Sixer's shooting guard J.J. Redick poured in 13 points in six first-quarter shots to set the tone for Philly's offense.

Boston was lucky to only be down by five points at the end of the opening 12 minutes. The Sixers took six more shots than the Celtics did and, in addition, shot it 6% better than Boston. Yet, thanks to a 5-0 advantage from the charity stripe and early contributions from Marcus Morris (7 pts) and Aron Baynes (6 pts), it was only 28-23 after one:



Boston's subpar play quickly caught up with them in the second quarter. Led by T.J. McConnell, Joel Embiid, and Robert Covington, Philly made their first nine straight shots of the quarter. Bad defense was often the culprit, but even when shots were heavily contested, Philly was knocking them down. It was just one of those games where every shot was falling for the opposing team.

The Celtics' only response to the 76er's hot shooting was forced shots and lackluster movement on offense. As a result, while Philadelphia was 9-9 to start the quarter, Boston was only 2-10 over the same span. This allowed the Sixers to open up a 21-point lead.

Like any Brad Stevens-run team, adjustments were made. Daniel Theis was put on Embiid, and it had big impact. Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown caught fire, leading a 7-0 Celtics run. Brown (10 pts), Irving (7 pts) and Theis (4) combined for Boston's final 21 points of the half, and 21 of their 25 second-quarter points:



That trio was awesome together, carrying almost all of Boston's second-quarter scoring on their shoulders. Here's one of the Irving-Theis connections:



Thanks to their 21-point scoring spurt, the Celtics used a 15-3 run in the final four minutes of the half to trim their deficit down to nine entering the break:



Jayson Tatum quickly got involved in the second half after a quiet start, posting Boston's first five points of the third quarter. He had 11 total points in the quarter alone on 5-6 shooting and was absolutely on fire:



Irving was also scorching hot following the intermission. The point guard splashed two deep three-pointers, including this one from the London parking lot:



A 26-11 start to the half saw Boston taking their first lead of the game (and then some), 74-68. If you carry over the end of the first half, Boston went on a 41-14 run at one point. They ended the third with six-point edge:



The Celtics took their lead and ran with it in the final quarter. Powered by an extremely balanced offense, Boston put up 17 points in five minutes to extend their advantage to 17, all with Kyrie and Tatum resting on the bench. Marcus Smart led the way, but Terry Rozier, Al Horford, and Morris contributed as well.

Once the aforementioned starters returned, the Celtics cruised to victory. Once again, it was a tale of two halves for Boston in this one, as they completed a 32-point turnaround to win with a final score of 114-103.

Irving finished with 20 points, seven assists, and six boards, while Brown posted a team-high 21 points with three steals. Morris and Tatum added 17 and 16 points, respectively, and Horford had a very Horford-like game with 13 points, eight rebounds, and seven dimes.


The Celtics will head home and get some more rest before squaring off with the Pelicans on Tuesday.


Follow Erik Johnson on Twitter: @erikjohnson32

Photo via @Celtics

Erik Johnson 1/11/2018 05:24:00 PM Edit
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