Instant Replay: Celtics 109, Sixers 101

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Instant Replay: Celtics 109, Sixers 101

BOX SCORE

The Sixers ended their season series against the Celtics with a 109-101 loss at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday night.

The Sixers fell to 23-36 after losing for the ninth time in their last 10 games.

Nick Young missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle. He is questionable for the team’s three-game road trip that begins in Atlanta on Wednesday night.

Turning point
With six minutes to play in the game and the Sixers trailing by eight, Dorell Wright made a one-handed pass that was picked off by Jason Terry. Terry kicked it ahead to Avery Bradley, who missed the fastbreak layup. However, Brandon Bass got the offensive rebound and the ball ended up in Paul Pierce’s hands for a three-pointer to put the Celtics up, 94-83.

Follow the leader
Bradley led the Celtics in scoring with 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting. Pierce registered a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Kevin Garnett contributed 18 points.

Jrue Holiday recorded his 15th double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 assists. Thaddeus Young also had his 15th double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Evan Turner had 18 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. He shot just 5 for 18 from the floor.

Stat-egic
The “lines” were the difference in the game. The Celtics were 11 of 19 from behind the three-point line and 14 for 16 at the foul line.

The Sixers were 5 for 20 from three-point range and 14 of 18 at the charity stripe. That’s an 18-point differential.

Take a bow
Doug Collins admitted he had to play rookie Arnett Moultrie more after practice on Monday. Still, what happens as a coach is when you see a winnable game, you go with the guys who have been there for you.

Collins vowed he would do both by trying to win games and getting Moultrie in the rotation.

Moultrie was active against the Celtics. He shot 5 for 5 from the floor for 10 points to go along with four rebounds in 20 minutes.

In his last four games, Moultire is a perfect 12 of 12 from the floor.

What’s next
The Sixers have a quick turnaround as they face Atlanta on Wednesday night.

The Hawks are returning from a six-game road trip in which they won the first three games and lost the last three.

Atlanta is led in scoring by Al Horford (17.3 points per game) and Josh Smith (17.2). Horford also averages 10.0 rebounds a night, while Smith pulls down 8.7 per game.

The Sixers beat the Hawks at home back on Dec. 21, 99-80. Turner led four starters in double figures with 21 points. Thaddeus Young had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Former Sixer Lou Williams scored 13 points and handed out four assists. Williams is now out for the season after suffering an ACL tear.

Dario Saric halts slump with 'best game as a 76er'

Dario Saric halts slump with 'best game as a 76er'

Dario Saric came into the NBA knowing his rookie season would be one of ups and downs. He would have successes based on his talent and struggle because of the newness of the league and matchups.

Saturday’s performance against the Celtics was one of those highlight nights. Saric scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, both tying career-highs, for his third double-double. He was efficient in his performance, playing 27 minutes off the bench in the Sixers' 107-106 loss.

“I thought that was his best game as a 76er,” Brett Brown said.

Saric had struggled the night before against the Magic. He barely made a dent in 16 minutes, posting just two points (1 for 5 from the field) without a single rebound. The poor showing was on his mind Saturday, as he got ready for the second game of the back-to-back. He went in early to get up extra shots, met with coaches, studied film and thought about the matchup throughout the day.

“I prepared a little bit more for this game,” Saric said. “After I have some bad rhythm of five or six, maybe, games. Now I concentrate more. I try to give my best, try to play my best, try to think before everything happens.”

Saric showed his aggressiveness in crunch time in the fourth quarter, when he scored seven points and five rebounds in eight minutes. He nailed a three to cut the Celtics' lead to 92-91 with 4:28 to play. Then with 1:09 remaining, Saric’s free throws cut the Celtics' lead to two points. On the other end of the court, he snagged the rebound off an Isaiah Thomas miss and scored a game-tying layup from Jahlil Okafor.  

“He played great,” Okafor said. “He’s working hard every day, getting used to the NBA process. It was good to see hard work paying off for him.”

Saric has been adjusting to new roles throughout the season. He was thrown into the starting power forward spot when Ben Simmons was injured, and then moved to the bench when the team acquired Ersan Ilyasova. On Saturday, Brown also played Saric at small forward in Robert Covington’s (knee) absence, a shift the Sixers may try again.

“He’s a good teammate,” Brown said. “He’s biding his time. He understands he’s a rookie. Incrementally, he’ll be given these opportunities. Tonight he did and he responded and you’re seeing continued growth.”

Saric still is early in his NBA career, and Saturday's showing was a game he can look back on and study for the rest of the season. 

“I feel like tonight … you’d walk away and say, ‘Shoot, that’s a hell of a player for playing 20 games in the NBA and he did what he just did against a hell of a team,’” Brown said. “I’m proud of what we saw all over the place from Dario.”

Sixers' '66-'67 team reflects on success of 'best team ever'

Sixers' '66-'67 team reflects on success of 'best team ever'

As part of their “Salute Saturday” series, the Sixers honored the 1966-67 championship team at halftime of their 107-106 loss the Celtics on Saturday.

Fifty years after winning the title, the success of the squad (which went 68-13 in the regular season) still resonates with those representing the Sixers today. After all, they are the group Wilt Chamberlain described as “the best team ever.” 

“It’s just part of the history of this city and the organization,” said Brett Brown, who has established a relationship with Billy Cunningham through practice visits and emails. “There was a toughness with that team that he personified and the city sort of reflects. It’s stuff you hear me talk about all the time how you want our team to reflect the spirit of the city. That team did it.”

Prior to their tribute ceremony, members of the team reflected on their run in which they beat the San Francisco Warriors for the title. 

On Wilt Chamberlain
“Wilt was such a dominant figure, not only as a basketball player, but he’s almost bigger than the game,” Matt Goukas said. “He played so well, he was such a good team player – he started really passing the ball right around that time --and that enabled great scorers like Hal (Greer) and Billy and Chet Walker to do their thing, and Wilt was very happy to give them that leeway.”.

On fond memories
“It was a team that we played well together and we lived as a family and that’s what made it so good for us," Greer said. "A lot of fun, a lot of fun. We missed the next year, but 68-13 is not bad at all.”

“It’s hard to forget a situation like that where we had such a terrific team and the season went so quickly, we won so many games and then of course winning a championship,” Goukas said. “As a first year player I said, ‘This is the way it’s supposed to be, I guess.’ But of course I never won another championship as a player, but we had such a terrific group of guys and true professionals that for me as a rookie, Billy Melchionni as a rookie, we really benefited from guys like Hal Greer, Wally Jones and Harry Costello, they really showed us the way.”

On team chemistry
“It was very difficult times when you look at the sixties from a social aspect,” Cunningham said. “Martin Luther King was killed the following year we won the championship. Race relationships weren’t the best. And this time, which was just about half black-half white, I’m not even sure, it was never an issue. That’s the beauty I think of being on a team you know getting to know people, you judge them as an individual and nothing more than that.”

“I think it was our coach Alex Hannum, for one (that kept the team together),” Greer said. “And of course the big guy. He held us together most of the time, he could rebound, play defense, do it all.”