Hayward leads Celtics to third straight win over 76ers leaving Embiid frustrated
Joel Embiid sure knows how to end a post-game presser 🙃 pic.twitter.com/k7o3Evq2Ea
— ESPN (@espn) February 13, 2019
Gordon Hayward scored 26 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with less than 2 minutes remaining, resulting in a 112-109 win for the Boston Celtics over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Jayson Tatum scored 20 and grabbed 10 rebounds on Tuesday night to help the Celtics continue their dominance over the Sixers. Playing without All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, who sprained his knee on Saturday night – the Celtics were still able to beat the Sixers for the third straight meeting this season after defeating Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season.
Joel Embiid had 23 points and 14 rebounds and plenty to say in the interview room after the game. Embiid expressed his frustration with the officiating, saying; “the referees fucking sucked” – and then proceeded to walk off the stage, fling open the curtain and walk out. His indignified comment will most likely result in a fine from the league office.
“This is a new team,” Simmons said. “There are things we’re going to work on, things we need to get better at, but it’s a good test for us to see where we’re at with this new team. But I’m excited with everyone we have and to see how far we can go.”
Boston is 10-2 against Philadelphia since the start of last season. Making matters worse for Philadelphia, five of the past seven losses have come with Kyrie Irving sitting out with an injury.
The two teams are tied for fourth place in the East with 36-21 records, and the Celtics owning the tiebreaker could loom large down the road as they battle for playoff positioning.
The final matchup between the two teams is on 20th March.
When asked about whether he is worried about his players letting the failures get to them Sixers coach Brett Brown said; “No. Not even close. We’ve got a whole new team.
We’ve been with each other for a minute. I don’t even think about that at all… I’m excited to play these guys.”
The team is far from different to the one that lost to Boston in last year’s playoffs. With additions Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler, Brown has been able to have a different roster for each of the three matchups between these teams this season. However, one constant has remained is Embiid vs Al Horford facing off.
On Tuesday Horford finished the game with 23 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four seals in 35 minutes.
“He’s not doing anything,” Embiid said when asked about being guarded by Horford. “I was sleep-walking for three quarters, and that’s on me.
“Like I said, that’s on me. It had nothing to do with anybody.”
While Embiid’s comment about the referees was unprompted, it likely was in reference to one play late in regulation. He got the ball in the post with Philadelphia trailing by two with less than 40 seconds remaining and tried to back Horford down. But, when Embiid went up for a shot, he was clearly hit across the arms by Horford and lost the ball, however, no foul was called.
Adding salt to Embiid’s wounds was his decision, with 2.9 seconds left, to put back an offensive rebound for a layup with the Sixers trailing by three and no timeouts left.
“I’m an idiot,” Embiid said. “I should’ve kicked it out or took it out and shot it. I didn’t think about the situation and us not having a timeout. I thought we had one, and as soon as I shot it, I looked and said, ‘I’m stupid.’
“But, like I said, that’s on me. I need to do a better job.”