Instant Replay: Sixers 97, Celtics 85


Instant Replay: Sixers 97, Celtics 85


NEWARK, Del. -- The Sixers improved to 2-1 in the preseason with a 97-85 win over the Celtics at “The Bob” on the University of Delaware’s campus.

The Sixers trailed the Celtics by one point after one quarter. They were apparently easing into their third preseason game because in the second quarter they outscored Boston 34-17 to lead by 16 at halftime.

The Sixers had 15 assists on their 21 first-half field goals. However, they did commit 12 turnovers. They finished with 23 turnovers for the game.

Royce White made his debut with the Sixers, but it did not last long. He entered the game at the 6:03 mark of the first quarter and departed with 3:21 to go in that same quarter after picking up his fourth foul.

Turning point
Spencer Hawes scored 13 of the Sixers’ 34 second-quarter points. Hawes was 5 of 8 from the floor in that quarter, including 3 of 4 from long range.

Hawes finished the game with 17 points, seven rebounds and two assists.

Defensively, the Sixers held the Celtics to 6-for-20 shooting in that quarter as well.

Follow the leader
Thaddeus Young led the all scorers with 20 Points on 9-for-15 shooting.

Jared Sullinger had 19 points to lead the Celtcs. Kelly Olynyk added 13 points, while Jordan Crawford had 12.

Michael Carter-Williams scored six points, grabbed six rebounds and had six assists. Through three games, MCW has 16 assists and just one turnover.

Take a bow
James Anderson made his third straight start at shooting guard. He played just 24 minutes but was 6 of 10 from the floor for 16 points. He also pulled down six rebounds

Tony Wroten, who averaged 18 points in the first two games, scored just four points. However, he did display his typical hard-nosed style of play while handing out six assists.

Wroten will certainly be a fan favorite for the Sixers.

What’s next?
The Sixers will host the Brooklyn Nets Monday at the Wells Fargo Center, their fourth of seven preseason games. 

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.