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.

Sixers being cautious with Jahlil Okafor early in training camp

Sixers being cautious with Jahlil Okafor early in training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. — The Sixers lost Jahlil Okafor for the final 23 games last season because of a small meniscus tear in his right knee. Now they are being cautious as he prepares for his second year.

As part of the Sixers’ prescheduled load management for Okafor, he participated in a portion of practice and then worked out individually with head strength and conditioning coach Todd Wright.

“They just told me to relax once I did what they wanted me to do today,” Okafor said. “I was off to the sidelines. I feel fine. I’ll be good tomorrow.”

Okafor learned during his first NBA season that he should speak more openly with the staff about his body.

“Communication is key,” he said. “I think last year I didn’t really communicate how I was feeling, so I wasn’t able to get the help I needed.”

The team held three practice sessions in the first two days of training camp. Okafor said he knew the Sixers would be cautious with his workload. He is poised to improve upon his rookie year in which he averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 53 games last season.

“I’m 100 percent healthy,” he said. “I’m all good.”

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. -- With Joel Embiid's excitement to be on the court following two years of injuries comes the reality of his lengthy setback.

Embiid is participating in his first NBA training camp this week. While he has impressed with his natural abilities and improved skills, Embiid is facing challenges as he gets accustomed to the league.

"Everything is kind of off right now as far as catching the ball or shooting," Embiid said after practice Wednesday. "I've still got to get in the flow of the game."

Embiid has yet to play since being drafted in 2014. For the past two years he has worked out individually and in controlled settings. Practices, even in training camp, are different. 

"You see all the time when you realize he hasn't played basketball for a long time," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "He's trying to gather his feet and find his balance, he's trying to figure out stuff in real time speed on defensive assignments and rotations."

On Wednesday, Embiid went through practice without any minute restrictions and was feeling healthier from the cold and virus he had been battling (see story). Teammates have praised his physical presence and eagerness to compete. He makes an impact with his 7-foot-2 presence alone, but there is more he wants to improve. 

Embiid is adjusting to the speed of the game. He has been facing challenges with getting the ball in the post and spoke to the coaches about his frustrations. The staff explained they are focusing on pick-and-roll defense and getting out to run during training camp, but he will get that desired location in game situations. 

“You continue to see the size of Joel Embiid,” Brown said. “He's a big man and he's got a mindset to back up his physical gifts. He really wants the ball. He wants to get deep catches. He wants to dunk on people.”

Embiid always has been realistic about his transition to his rookie season. He has pointed out many times that he is a fast learner, and is anxious to soak up new knowledge and apply it to the court.

"It's really frustrating," he said. "But like I've said, you've got to trust the process, which I've been doing."