Boston Celtics

Sixers-Celtics preseason observations: Balance missing in 110-102 loss

Sixers-Celtics preseason observations: Balance missing in 110-102 loss

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The second look at Markelle Fultz has to wait as the No. 1 pick sat out of the Sixers’ 110-102 loss to the Celtics on Friday.

Fultz was sidelined by right shoulder soreness. The Sixers changed up their starting five with the substitutions of Jerryd Bayless for Fultz and Amir Johnson for Richaun Holmes. Ben Simmons, JJ Redick and Robert Covington remained in the lineup. 

The Celtics were in regular-season form with a starting lineup of Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford. Even though the Celtics’ roster is deep, the Sixers trailed by just two points at halftime thanks to 52.4 percent three-point shooting in the first half. 

• Joel Embiid missed his second straight preseason game. The Sixers have not announced a date for his return, but Brett Brown is feeling optimistic (not definitive) about Embiid playing opening night on Oct. 18.

“I believe that with the way it’s going now, if it continues and progresses a little bit, if that can be maintained and upped, then I think that we’re going to have enough body of work to be able to play decent basketball,” Brown said of Embiid. “It won’t be completely unorganized.”

• Simmons had eight points (3 for 8 from the field, 2 for 6 from the line), five assists, three rebounds and four fouls in 23 minutes. The Sixers used this game as an opportunity to see Simmons in different defensive matchups. Simmons started off guarding power forward Tatum and then small forward Hayward. Throughout the game he also defended point guard Irving and shooting guard Brown. When it came to offense, he continued to be aggressive at the basket. That aggressiveness also ended up resulting in two charging fouls trying to score against center Aron Baynes. 

• Irving scored a game-high 21 points (including five treys) in 25 minutes. 

• Bayless led the Sixers with 15 points (3 for 5 from three) and five assists. Jahlil Okafor pulled down six rebounds with 11 points off the bench. 

• Dario Saric isn’t the only one “trusting the friendship” with T.J. McConnell. Watch McConnell find Simmons for the alley-oop from halfcourt. 

• Saric (rest), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (right knee patellar tendinitis) and James Michael McAdoo (left hamstring tightness) did not play. Brown intends to rest many of his players in at least one preseason game (three remaining). Redick is slated to sit out Monday against the Celtics in Boston. Brown said it is possible Covington could miss that game, too. 

Markelle Fultz out for Sixers-Celtics preseason game

Markelle Fultz out for Sixers-Celtics preseason game

There will be no Markelle Fultz-Jayson Tatum showdown on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Fultz, the No. 1 overall draft pick this summer, is out for the Sixers-Celtics preseason game because of right shoulder soreness.

Sixers head coach Brett Brown said the decision to sit Fultz is for precautionary reasons.

The Sixers will start Ben Simmons, Jerryd Bayless, JJ Redick, Robert Covington and Amir Johnson.

Here are the other Sixers out tonight.

For the Celtics' starting five, it will be Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Tatum, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Philadelphia and streaming live here.

NBA Notes: Isaiah Thomas says being traded by Celtics 'still hurts'

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NBA Notes: Isaiah Thomas says being traded by Celtics 'still hurts'

BOSTON -- Isaiah Thomas' two sons had different reactions to his trade from the Celtics to the Cavaliers.

His older son, James, is excited that his dad will get to play alongside LeBron James. Thomas' younger son, Jaiden, had fallen in love with Boston and was afraid that Cleveland won't have any skate parks.

Thomas said in a 3,500-word post on The Players Tribune that he himself was also of two minds about the deal that sent him to the Cavaliers, along with two other players and a first-round draft pick, for fellow All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving.

He says hearing about the trade in a call from Celtics boss Danny Ainge "still hurts." But he's also excited about playing with James, a four-time MVP, and Kevin Love, a former AAU teammate . Thomas says he won't have to worry about being double- or triple-teamed any more.

Says Thomas: "You are not going to want to mess with the Cavs this year" (see full story).

Pacers: Owner denies report about possibly suing Lakers
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon is denying a report that the team might sue the Los Angeles Lakers for tampering with Paul George.

The NBA fined the Lakers $500,000 last week for violating league rules and there was a report that the Pacers were considering legal action, too.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Simon said the Pacers agreed with the league's decision and that the team simply wanted to move on.

Indiana traded George to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis after George's camp let it be known that the four-time All-Star intended to sign as a free agent with the Lakers in July 2018.

Simon acknowledged those sentiments put Indiana "in a tough position" but the Pacers acquired two good players.

Hawks: Team signs 3 players to contracts
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Hawks have signed guards Quinn Cook and Josh Maggette and forward Tyler Cavanaugh.

Cook, from Duke, played five games with Dallas and nine games with New Orleans as a rookie last season. He averaged 5.6 points and 1.9 assists.

Cook is a two-time All-Star in the NBA G League. He was the 2016 G League Rookie of the Year.

Magette signed a two-way contract that will allow him to primarily play for the team's NBA G League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, while also spending up to 45 days with Atlanta.

Magette spent time during the 2016 preseason with the Hawks and was part of the team's summer league roster this year.

Cavanaugh also played for Atlanta's summer league team this season.

Cavaliers: Plans for $140M arena makeover renewed
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers are reviving a $140 million renovation of Quicken Loans Arena just over a week after the project was scrapped.

The team announced Wednesday it'll also extend its lease at the facility for seven extra years, until 2034.

The Cavaliers, who won the 2016 NBA title, hoped to upgrade the 22-year-old downtown arena with more dining spaces and a glass exterior but had faced opposition from community groups objecting to the use of taxpayer money.

The Cavaliers canceled the renovation on Aug. 28 after a referendum petition submitted by the Greater Cleveland Congregations, a religious coalition, gained more than 13,000 valid signatures and threatened to delay the project.

But the coalition withdrew the petition after county officials cut a deal and promised to look into constructing two mental health and substance abuse clinics, allowing renovation plans to move forward again. The Cavaliers will fund half the project as previously planned, while the other half will come from public funding.

Other groups opposed to the project say they weren't consulted before the petition was withdrawn.

"This isn't what the majority of Cleveland citizens wanted," said Steve Holecko, of the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, which has been leading the fight to stop the renovation. "This is corporate welfare at its worst" (see full story).