76ers

Sixers at Celtics: 3 storylines to watch and how to follow the game

76ers

The 31-18 Sixers have two games left before the trade deadline Thursday. The first one doesn’t project to be easy, though they’ll play a shorthanded Celtics team (32-15) on Saturday night.

Here are the essentials: 

When: 8:30 p.m. ET 
Where: TD Garden 
Broadcast: ABC 
Live stats: Follow here

And here are three storylines to watch: 

No Walker; Horford’s back 

Kemba Walker will miss at least the next two games because of left knee soreness, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters. Enes Kanter (right hip contusion) is also out. 

He struggled against the Sixers on opening night, but Walker, an All-Star starter, totaled 55 points in the next two meetings between the teams. Boston is 3-2 without him. 

Al Horford is back after missing the Sixers' loss in Atlanta with left knee soreness.

He was also sidelined for the team's first game of the season in Boston, a 115-109 win on Dec. 12. Joel Embiid was dominant that night, scoring 38 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.

Not a bad replacement 

Shake Milton looked like he was playing in a G-League game Thursday night. He scored a career-best 27 points on just 12 field-goal attempts, dished out six assists and only had one turnover. 

A star last season with the Delaware Blue Coats, he’s performed well over the last three games as a replacement for Josh Richardson (left hamstring strain) in the starting lineup.

 

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Ben Simmons told reporters in Atlanta. “I’ve been around Shake since he’s been here. He works hard, he’s consistent and he trusts in his work.”

A chance to sweep 

The Sixers have an opportunity to sweep the regular-season series against the Celtics for the first time since the 2000-01 season.

They sealed the sweep that season with a 108-95 victory in Philadelphia on April 9. Allen Iverson scored 37 points, while Dikembe Mutombo threatened a triple-double with 12 points, 19 rebounds and eight blocks. 

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