LONDON (AP) — Kyrie Irving had 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds and the Boston Celtics overcame a 22-point deficit to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 114-103 on Thursday night in the eighth NBA game played in England.
Jaylen Brown added 21 points, and Marcus Morris had 19 points and eight rebounds to help the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics extend their winning streak to seven games.
JJ Redick had 22 points and hit five 3-pointers for Philadelphia, but the 76ers were unable to take advantage of their fast start as the Celtics’ NBA-best defense tightened at O2 Arena.
Joel Embiid had 16 points, and fellow All-Star hopeful Ben Simmons added 15 for the 76ers.
Irving and Embiid struggled early, going a combined 1 for 10 from the field in the first quarter. Despite ending the quarter pointless, Embiid was able to make an impact on defense, notably swatting away Irving’s attempted layup.
Embiid and Simmons helped out Redick at the start of the second and the 76ers made their first nine shots of the quarter to open the 22-point lead with 6:56 remaining in the quarter.
However, Irving finally made a 3, sparking a strong Celtics finish to the half as they closed to 57-48.
Having been outshone by fellow Rookie Of The Year contender Simmons in the first half, Tatum began the second half hot, making his first five shots to bring the Celtics within a point.
The Celtics soon took their first lead midway through the third quarter.
Celtics: The Celtics held Philadelphia without a field goal for the final 4:37 of the second quarter to trim the halftime deficit to nine points
76ers: Embiid was the only player on either team to finish with a double-double, adding 10 rebounds to his 15 points.
Celtics: Host New Orleans on Tuesday night.
76ers: Host Toronto on Monday night.