Two of the Eastern Conference’s best teams squared off on Wednesday, with the 76ers topping the Celtics in Philly by a score of 118-115. Joel Embiid had his second big game in a row, leading all scorers with 37 points. Embiid was not only the leading scorer on the night, but he also led all players in rebounding, pulling down 22 boards against the Celtics.
Kyrie was the best Celtic on the floor, with the guard scoring 36 points and chipping in nine rebounds and four assists. Al Horford had 22 points, but was dominated on the glass by Embiid, grabbing only six rebounds all game.
The win was huge for the 76ers, who continue to improve their position in the Eastern Conference standings. Philadelphia is now three games ahead of the Indiana Pacers, and continues to keep pressure on the Raptors in second place.
As for the Celtics, the loss keeps Bostin in fifth place. The Celtics have continuously underachieved so far this season, and has found life in a significantly improved Eastern Conference difficult this season. Players like Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart have failed to turn in consistently high level performances this season, leaving the Celtics behind teams like the 76ers, Raptors, and Bucks.
Boston will need big production from Gordon Hayward and Tatum if they are going to make some noise this postseason. The best teams from the East have built out their rosters this season, but the Celtics have not, and are paying the price in the standings.