LONDON – As the Boston Celtics were making their comeback in the third quarter, Jaylen Brown heard a familiar voice from the Sixers bench basically telling him he couldn’t shoot.
Moments later, Brown raised up for a 3-pointer that hit nothing but the bottom of the net, one of the many big shots made by the Celtics in their 114-103 comeback win over Philadelphia.
For Brown who led Boston (34-10) with 21 points, the victory was sweet on several levels.
It gave him something to talk smack about in the offseason with some of the Sixers bench players. After his shot, he blew the entire bench a kiss.
“The main person was Justin Anderson,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston. “That’s my guy. I worked out with him pre-draft, known for a very long time. That was for him, because he should know better, of all people.”
And to come up big in London, one of the cities Brown spent time in this summer in preparation for what has been a breakout season for the second-year wing player, makes it even better.
“We had a business mindset coming here,” he said. “We had fun but we had to take care of business, too. I’m glad we got the win.”
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 114-103 win over the Philadelphia 76ers which improved Boston’s winning streak to seven straight along with improving their East-leading record to 34-10. In addition, the Sixers’ four game winning streak is a thing of the past now. Boston also won for the third time this season over the Sixers which means the Celtics have clinched the head-to-head series. Also, the loss dropped the Sixers’ record back to below-.500 (19-20) this season.
Jaylen Brown: Rather than flood the game with points, Jaylen Brown’s was more of a steady drip variety. He led all Celtics with 21 points on 8-for-15 shooting along with four rebounds.
J.J. Redick: It was Redick’s red-hot shooting that helped catapult Philadelphia to a dominant first half. He wasn’t nearly as impactful in the second half, but still finished with a game-high 22 points on 7-for-12 shooting with seven rebounds.
Kyrie Irving: This wasn’t one of his better games statistically, but Irving was among the Boston players setting the tone in the second half with yet another comeback win. Irving had 20 points on 7-for-20 shooting with six rebounds and seven assists.
Marcus Morris: Playing without any minutes restrictions, he delivered exactly what the Celtics needed from the second unit. He scored 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting along with snatching eight rebounds.
Jayson Tatum: His aggressive demeanor at the start of the third quarter provided a much-needed lift for the Celtics at a time when they were on the cusp of fully swinging the game’s momentum in their favor. He had 16 points for the Celtics on 7-for-13 shooting.
Al Horford: Horford’s defense was once again top-shelf work for the Celtics, and in the second half he picked up his scoring to finish with Horford-esque game of 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting, with eight rebounds and seven assists.
Joel Embiid: I couldn’t help but think about the words spoken by his coach Brett Brown earlier who drew a distinction between players who are popular, and superstars. Embiid’s talent is undeniable, but he still has a level or two to reach before you can consider him a superstar. No team proves this point more than the Celtics who continue to be the one team he consistently struggles against. He had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, but did so on 6-for-17 shooting with most of his made baskets coming on backup center Daniel Theis. Credit Boston’s Big Three of Al Horford, Aron Baynes and head coach Brad Stevens whose mixing and matching defensively kept Embiid off-balance and guessing most of the game.