Instant Replay: Sixers 113, Celtics 108

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Instant Replay: Sixers 113, Celtics 108

BOX SCORE

The Sixers took their only season series on Monday night with a 113-108 win over the Boston Celtics in their home finale at the Wells Fargo Center. The victory was the Sixers’ third of the season over the Celtics.

The Sixers got a gift from Chris Johnson with 0.9 seconds remaining when he pulled up for a game-tying three-pointer that rattled in, but his foot was out of bounds when he pulled up for the shot.

The Sixers are now 18-63 with one game remaining in the regular season.

Turning point
Henry Sims made a 12-foot baseline jumper with 25.1 seconds remaining to put the Sixers up 110-105.

On Boston’s ensuing possession, the Celtics had a five-second violation on the inbounds pass to give the Sixers the ball back and help them hold on for the win.

Follow the leader
Michael Carter-Williams had a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Of Carter-Williams’ boards, 13 of them came on the defensive end of the floor. He also had six assists and four steals.

Tony Wroten had quite a game as well, scoring 20 points. The 63.6 percent free-throw shooter also had a good night at the line, making 6 of 7 from the charity stripe.

Kelly Olynyk scored a game-high 28 points for the Celtics, while Jeff Green added 27 points of his own.

Rajon Rondo flirted with a triple-double with eight points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds.

Stat-egic
The Sixers scored 64 points in the paint compared to Boston’s 36. They also won the fast-break battle, 23-8.

Take a bow
With 4:47 to play, Thaddeus Young hit a straight-away three-pointer to put the Sixers up 102-96.

Young shot poorly for the game (5 of 16), but he did finish with 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

What’s next?
The Sixers will end the season as they began: A date against the defending champion Miami Heat.

With the Heat already losing the Eastern Conference’s race for the No. 1 seed to the Indiana Pacers, Wednesday’s tilt will be meaningless for Miami. LeBron James and Chris Bosh did not suit up for the Heat’s game on Monday against the Washington Wizards and it is likely they will do the same in the regular-season finale.

The Sixers split the previous two meetings this season, winning on opening night by four points and losing on Jan. 17 by 15.

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."