Instant Replay: Celtics 114, Sixers 108


Instant Replay: Celtics 114, Sixers 108


There would be no late-game heroics for the Sixers this time around against Boston.

After using a buzzer-beater to edge the Celtics last week, the Sixers couldn’t get over the hump late in a 114-108 loss to the C’s on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

The loss dropped the Sixers’ record to 15-35.

Turning point
The Sixers had six opportunities in the final 7:15 to cut the Celtics’ lead to just two points, but they were never able to convert.

The final chance came with 25.5 seconds remaining when Michael Carter-Williams dribbled the ball off his foot and out of bounds.

It was Carter-Williams’ fourth turnover of the game with all of them coming in the fourth quarter.

Follow the leader
Jeff Green led all scorers with 36 points. He was 11 of 18 from the field, 5 of 7 from behind the arc and 9 of 12 from the foul line.

Center Jared Sullinger had 19 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Celtics.

Rajon Rondo, who missed last week’s game between the two teams, was in the starting lineup on Wednesday. He scored eight points, grabbed nine rebounds and tallied 11 assists.

Thaddeus Young led the Sixers with 20 points.

Spencer Hawes had his 17th double-double of the season with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Lavoy Allen posted his second double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Sixers’ bench outscored the Celtics’ reserves, 41-19.

However, the Celtics were able to make up that difference at the free throw line. The Sixers shot 17 of 20 at the foul line, but they had 13 fewer than Boston.

Take a bow
Tony Wroten hit a 58-foot shot as time expired in the third quarter to cut the Sixers’ deficit to six points and bring the fans to their feet.

Wroten finished with 18 points and four assists off the bench.

What’s next?
The Sixers return to action on Friday night when they host the Los Angeles Lakers.

Former Sixer great Charles Barkley summed up his opinion on the Lakers during an appearance earlier this week on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Barkley, who is not one to sugarcoat things, said “this team stinks.”

The Lakers will come to town with a 17-32 record. Former Sixer Nick Young is leading the team with 17.1 points per game.

Despite trade speculation continuing to swirl around him, Pau Gasol is still averaging a double-double with 17.0 points and 10.2 rebounds a game.

The Sixers beat the Lakers, 111-104, back on Dec. 29.

Jahlil Okafor eager for more minutes as knee heals

Jahlil Okafor eager for more minutes as knee heals

CAMDEN, N.J. — Jahlil Okafor has been patient with his right knee. He was disciplined with restrictions and recovery during the preseason, recognizing the goal of being ready for opening night. 

At the same time, once he got back on the court he wanted more. Okafor played eight minutes Friday against the Heat, his first game since Feb. 28 before undergoing surgery to repair a right meniscus tear. 

“I don’t think I’m going to do eight again,” Okafor said Sunday. “They kind of heard me complain about that a lot. I think it’ll definitely be more than eight, but it won’t be much more.” 

Okafor has been limited since aggravating his knee during the final day of training camp. He practiced “to tolerance” on Sunday, according to the Sixers. Okafor did not participate in the team scrimmage and worked out individually with assistant coach/head of strength and conditioning Todd Wright. 

The second-year big man did not feel soreness on Saturday following the game. On Sunday, he felt “kind of stiff” during practice. Brett Brown has been watching Okafor’s movement closely. While Okafor considered it to be “good,” Brown was a tougher critic. 

“I think he looked OK,” Brown said. “He didn’t look great to me today. I’ll give him a B-minus … It’s always how do you move? East, west, north, south, how do you move?” 

Okafor scored four points and had one rebound, one assist, one block and one turnover in Miami. He focused on his defense during the game. When he subbed out, he checked in with Elton Brand on the bench to receive feedback from the now-retired veteran. Okafor plans to continue to tap into him for advice throughout the season. 

With opening night three days away, Okafor still plans to be on the floor for it.

“I am optimistic about it,” he said. “I should be ready to go.” 

Robert Covington sprained his right ankle in Friday’s game and did not practice Sunday. Brown anticipates Covington, who has been starting at small forward, also will be ready to go Wednesday. 

“I do (expect him to play),” Brown said. “But we won’t know that for sure yet.” 

Sixers waive retired Elton Brand
The Sixers waived Brand on Sunday, making his retirement official. Brand announced his intentions to walk away from the game Thursday. The Sixers' request of waivers was a procedural step. The roster currently stands at 19. 

“It’s been an honor, it’s been a privilege to play this game, the game that I love, and I’m certainly going to miss it,” Brand said last week (see story). “But it’s definitely time now.” 

Brand celebrated his career with his teammates at Komodo in Miami on Thursday night ahead of their preseason finale against the Heat. 

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

Report: Nerlens Noel expected out 3-5 weeks after left knee surgery

It appears the Sixers' frontcourt logjam may not be an issue early on.

Nerlens Noel, who is having surgery Monday for an inflamed plica in his left knee, will miss the first three to five weeks of the season, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Noel suffered a left groin injury in the first preseason game against the Celtics and missed the rest of the preseason. While undergoing treatment, Noel reported left knee soreness, which led to the discovery of the inflamed plica.

It's been an odd start to the season for Noel. The big man was outspoken about his displeasure with the Sixers' frontcourt situation early in camp. With the deadline for Noel's rookie contract extension approaching on Oct. 31, the team has not had conversations about it, according to a report.

The Sixers are already without No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons as he recovers from surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot. The team will also be without their starting point guard Jerryd Bayless who is dealing with a ligament issue in his left wrist. Bayless won't require surgery and will be reevaluated in two weeks.