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Irving's 36 points help Celts past Sixers

The Sports Xchange

November 30. 2017 11:13PM
Boston forward Jayson Tatum drives past Philadelphia guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot during the first half of Thursday's game at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

BOSTON — Kyrie Irving scored 36 points to power the Boston Celtics to a 108-97 victory over the undermanned but feisty Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.

Irving and Marcus Morris keyed a 17-7 fourth-quarter run that broke the game open and gave the Celtics their ninth win in their last 10 home games. It was also the seventh straight TD Garden victory for Boston (19-4) over Philadelphia (14-9).

Morris, who finished with 17 points off the bench — one off his season high, scored six straight points late in the third quarter and then had seven more during the fourth-quarter spurt.

The big Celtics push came as the Sixers, playing the second game of a back-to-back and with big man Joel Embiid (22.9 points, 11.3 rebounds per game) resting and others hurt, ran out of gas

Al Horford scored 21 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists, and rookie Jayson Tatum added 15 points for the Celtics, who are 2-0 against the Sixers this season.

Dario Saric led the Sixers with 18 points and 10 rebounds, J.J. Redick scored 17 points, rookie Ben Simmons had 15 points, seven assists, six rebounds and five steals. Jerryd Bayless and Robert Covington scored 10 points apiece. Simmons, defended heavily throughout, also had five turnovers.

Philadelphia stayed in the game by going 16-for-32 from 3-point range. They made only 19 2-pointers, in 52 tries.

NOTES: Former Celtic F Amir Johnson started with Embiid resting. Johnson had six points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. ... The Sixers were also missing three others, including Gs Markelle Fultz and T.J. McConnell, both out with shoulder injuries. Nik Stauskas (ankle) returned, though. ... Fultz, the No. 1 pick in the draft, has played in only four games. ... Looking for more defense, Boston coach Brad Stevens inserted C Aron Baynes into the starting lineup for F Marcus Morris. ... Stevens on whether Tatum is better off playing for a contender in his first year. “I don’t know if we’re a contender. We’re 22 games in.” ... The Sixers, who just went 4-2 on a six-game homestand, also play the next three at home, starting with the Detroit Pistons on Saturday, while the Celtics continue their four-game homestand with a Saturday matinee with the Phoenix Suns.