The Sixers' showcase in London was spoiled by a massive Celtics comeback Thursday at the 02 Arena, resulting in a 114-103 loss.
Playing on the international stage, the Sixers jumped out to a 22-point lead in the first half against the top team in the Eastern Conference.
That lopsided differential wouldn’t last long. The Celtics began to claw their way back into it in the second quarter and trailed by only nine at halftime.
The Sixers fell behind in the third and were outscored by 15 points in the quarter. The Celtics built upon that lead in the fourth to erase any signs of the Sixers' once-dominating advantage (see story).
The Sixers' four-game winning streak came to an end. They fell back below .500 at 19-20. The Celtics improved to 34-10.
• A 15-point game turned chippy with just under five minutes to play. Ben Simmons committed a hard foul on Marcus Morris, who got knocked to the ground. Morris bounced up and shoved Simmons. The players were separated and the situation didn’t escalate beyond the push. Morris was issued a technical without any ejections.
Things are getting HEATED in London.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 11, 2018
Here's the play and the entire replay. pic.twitter.com/HudhktKR7T
• JJ Redick was nearly unstoppable to start the game. He scored 13 quick points in the first (in less than eight minutes, at that). His efficient shooting accounted for nearly half of the Sixers’ total scoring in the quarter. Redick finished with a game-high 22 points.
• Joel Embiid had a quiet 15-point, 10-rebound double-double (along with five assists). Embiid shot 6 for 17 from the field and struggled from three, going 1 for 5. (Both Robert Covington and Dario Saric also went 1 for 5 from long range.)
• Simmons posted 16 points but was well under his season averages with three assists and only two rebounds.
• Jaylen Brown (21 points, four rebounds, three steals) edged out Kyrie Irving (20 points, seven assists) as the Celtics’ leading scorer. Boston got a boost off the bench with 19 points from Morris.
• The Sixers committed only two turnovers in a disciplined first quarter. But as the game went on, they ended up with 19 overall.
• Injury updates: Markelle Fultz was with the Sixers in London but has not been cleared to play (right shoulder). Amir Johnson was sidelined by gastroenteritis.
• The Sixers dropped to 0-3 against the Celtics this season. They will get another chance to pick up a regular-season win when they face off again next Thursday in Boston.