January 24, 2018

Ben Simmons solid but Philadelphia Sixers blow it in London

13 January 2018, 06:21 | Edward Lowe

LeBron James and his struggling Cavaliers have been overwhelmed by the Toronto Raptors 133-99

LeBron James and his struggling Cavaliers have been overwhelmed by the Toronto Raptors 133-99

Not sure if it was intentional, but the National Basketball Association made a decision to showcase its game to folks in England last night with two teams representing cities that are enduring symbols of the American revolution: the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, and they provided plenty of fireworks in an entertaining comeback win for Boston. They snapped off the first seven points of the NBA London Game 2018, en route to knocking down 50.0 percent of their shots (12-24 fg) for the first quarter. The result enabled Boston to stretch their record to 34-10, which leads the Eastern Conference.

"There's no real panic but we had to play a lot better".

"We got out to a 22-point lead against the best team in the East and we didn't react the way we have to".

Why weren't the Sixers able to fight back?

"I want to be an All-Star, so if I'm an All-Star then I know I'm Rookie of the Year", Simmons said.

"When you build some buffer around this game in the middle of the season, it requires compressing the schedule in other parts of the season". That was the difference.

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Brown stopped the rot for Boston with a three from the corner, turning to blow a kiss to the Philly bench as he skipped back, and it proved a turning point.

Theis produced a highlight with his third-quarter block of Joel Embiid.

76ers: Embiid was the only player on either team to finish with a double-double, adding 10 rebounds to his 15 points. The Croatian had almost three dozen friends and family members in attendance at O2 Arena Thursday, including his father, Pedrag, a former pro himself who had never before seen Saric play in a Sixers uniform. Against Boston on October 20, he made just 4 of 16 shots. Embiid didn't play when the teams met on November 30.

The Celtics were significantly well represented, with Al Horford sixth among forwards and Tatum right behind him in seventh. "Like I said, I was frustrated from the beginning and usually if I'm frustrated I have bad games". "I'm just trying to continue to build my confidence and rhythm and just help the team any way I can. I don't think they did anything special".

JJ Redick had 22 points and hit five 3-pointers for Philadelphia, but the 76ers were unable to take advantage of their fast start.

By the third quarter, the Celtics were in complete control and the Sixers could not buy a bucket.

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Redick led all scorers with 22 points in the losing effort.

The Celtics defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves at the O2 Arena in the preseason of their title-winning 2007-08 campaign, but star point guard Kyrie Irving - who contributed 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds against the Sixers - feels the reshuffled group must first discover their identity before considering a championship bid.

Simmons knocked the North Philly native down on the court while leading with his right shoulder fighting through a screen.

It got testy in the fourth quarter, with Boston's Morris taking exception to a foul from Simmons to spark a brief melee, but the main battle of the night had already been settled in the Celtics' favour.

"But I promise you that won't happen again". But it's a good shot. I guess he didn't like it.

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