Halftime stars, studs and duds: Embiid a major headache for Celtics

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Embiid a major headache for Celtics

BOSTON – Brad Stevens warned the media prior to Friday’s game about how the Philadelphia 76ers are a much-improved team.

It looks like his players didn’t get the memo as the Sixers spent a good chunk of the first half playing with a lead as the half ended with Boston down 62-51.

Philadelphia’s superior size on the frontcourt was certainly a problem most of the first half, and it manifested itself by the Sixers’ decisive edge (30-6) in points in the paint. Philadelphia out-performed Boston in fast-break points (12-6) as well.

The deficit stood at 14 points for the Celtics before Marcus Smart made a pair of free throws for the final points of the half.

The Celtics fell behind early, but led by as many as six points behind a 10-4 surge in the middle of the first which put them ahead 23-17.

But the Sixers closed out the quarter by scoring six of the quarter’s last eight points to trim Boston’s lead after the first quarter down to just 25-23.

The Sixers’ strong play continued in the second quarter, one in which they went ahead by 10  points (52-42) for their first double digit lead of the night.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half.



Joel Embiid

He didn’t play major minutes, but was very much a major headache for the Celtics. He led the Sixers with 17 points in just 14 minutes while shooting 5-for-8 from the field.



Ersan Ilyasova

Like Embiid, Ilyasova was extremely efficient in the minutes he was on the floor through two quarters of play. He had 11 points in 14 minutes on 4-for-7 shooting with three assists.

Avery Bradley

Most of his damage came in the first quarter which is when he scored all 14 of his first-half points.

Isaiah Thomas

Thomas had 12 points while shooting 3-for-6 from the field as most of his points came on 5-for-6 shooting from the free throw line.



Celtics turnovers

Brad Stevens can’t be happy with the way his team has handled the ball in the first half. Boston commits 12.4 turnovers per game which ranks fifth in the league in fewest turnovers per game. On Friday, Boston had turned the ball over 11 times which led to 13 points for the Sixers.

Report: Celtics to sign Kilpatrick to 10-day contract

AP Photo

Report: Celtics to sign Kilpatrick to 10-day contract

The depleted Celtics will sign guard Sean Kilpatrick to a 10-day contract, according to The Boston Herald's Mark Murphy.

Kilpatrick, 28, 6-4, 210 pounds, who played at the University of Cincinnati, most recently played for the Clippers this season and has spent time with the Bucks and Brooklyn Nets the past two seasons. 

With their spate of injuries lately, including Kyrie Irving undergoing a procedure on his knee Saturday, the Celtics have been granted a "hardship roster exemption" by the NBA. 


Report: Optimism that Kyrie will be back for playoffs

Report: Optimism that Kyrie will be back for playoffs

The Celtics say Kyrie Irving will be able to return to "basketball activities in 3-6 weeks" and multiple reports expressed optimism that he'll able to return to the team sometime during the playoffs.

The team released the following statement: 

Celtics guard Kyrie Irving today underwent a minimally-invasive procedure to remove a tension wire in his left knee. The wire was originally placed as part of the surgical repair of a fractured patella sustained during the 2015 NBA Finals. While removal of the wire should relieve irritation it was causing in Irving’s patellar tendon, the fractured patella has fully healed and Irving’s knee has been found to be completely structurally sound. Irving is expected to return to basketball activities in 3-6 weeks.

While "basketball activities" doesn't necessarily mean playing in games, the playoffs begin April 14 and the conference finals start as early as May 13, which could Irving playing again with the Celtics in the postseason should they advance. 


Irving underwent the procedure on his left knee to help alleviate the soreness that has kept him out the past five games. There was a fear that Irving could be lost for the rest of the season, including playoffs. 

More to come...