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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Cameron Tabatabaie

Six Celtics score in double-figures as Boston overcomes 76ers, injury bug in 106-99 victory

The Boston Celtics defeated the visiting Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday night, grabbing a 106-99 victory against an important Eastern Conference foe. The Celtics now move to 39-16 on the season, with two more tilts against the Sixers remaining on the schedule.

Injuries played a major role in this one. Boston was without Marcus Smart, Al Horford, and Robert Williams III. To make things more difficult, Jaylen Brown left the game before the half after a collision with Jayson Tatum.

Boston may have been down four starters, but it didn’t matter. The Celtics were positively electric from deep, shooting 19-for-35 from 3, and overall, Boston had six players score in double-figures, helping smooth over some defensive lapses and 13 turnovers. Jayson Tatum flirted with a triple-double, ending the night with 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists, but really it was an epic team victory for the Celts.

In the end, the Celtics grabbed a big win in a critical matchup against a key division rival. Here’s what you may have missed from Boston’s home victory against Philadelphia.

The injury bug bit the Celtics particularly hard

The Celtics were without some of the teams most important players against Philly. Marcus Smart continues to nurse his way back from an ankle sprain, leaving Boston without the reigning defensive player of the year.

To make matters worse, both Al Horford and Robert Williams III were also on the shelf. Williams is dealing with an ankle sprain of his own, while Horford was listed out with knee swelling. Grant Williams and Blake Griffin started for the Celtics in the front court.

Smart, Horford, and Williams are arguably Boston’s three most important defensive players. Jaylen Brown leaving the game early didn’t help either. That Boston pulled out a decisive win is a massive testament to the team’s depth and resolve.

Blake Griffin and the rest of the bench came to play

With some of Boston’s key starters unavailable, it was the Celtics bench that really stepped up Wednesday night. Veteran Blake Griffin in particular had himself an outing. Griffin finished with 15 points, including four 3s.

Grant Williams also played well for the Celtics. Williams was effective on the glass, ending the night with 8 boards to go with 15 points and 5 assists.

In the backcourt, both Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White also played quite well. Brogdon logged 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. White, meanwhile, also scored 19 to go along with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks.

Interestingly, Payton Pritchard saw limited action despite Boston’s injury woes. His first burn came in the fourth quarter, and he ended the night with just 4 minutes of playing time. Pritchard’s name has come up several times with the NBA trade deadline this Thursday.

Boston was electric from deep

Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla got an incredibly balanced attack from his team. Six players scored 12 points or more, with Boston’s role players stepping up completely in the face of injury woes.

It certainly helps that Boston was unconscious from deep as a team. Collectively the Celtics shot 54.3% from 3. This undermined any lapses on defense that the home team faced given its depleted depth chart.

Shooting and spacing has been a crucial weapon for Boston this season. Against Philadelphia, it was simply devastating. The Celtics host the Charlotte Hornets this Friday at home.

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