It took everything they had, but Jayson Tatum, Derrick White and the Celtics fought their way to an impressive road win over the 76ers on Wednesday. This despite the fact Jaylen Brown (illness) and Kristaps Porzingis (bruised knee) were out.
Tatum scored 29 points and White had 27, including 14 in the fourth quarter.
“Everyone has to step it up a little bit,” White told reporters. “Obviously, guys like J.B. and K.P., you can’t do what they do. But you have to step it up just a little bit and I think that a lot of guys stepped up tonight.”
- Coach Joe Mazzulla also had plenty of praise for Jrue Holiday, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. “Jrue, I told him before the game, ‘I watched you on film take things over when guys on the Bucks team were out, and you won games because of what you did on both ends,'” Mazzulla said, via Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. “So, he was able to do some of that tonight.”
The Sixers were playing the second game of a back-to-back and third in four nights in the loss to Boston. It may have caught up with them in the second half.
“The physicality on the ball, we were not able to get into things as crisply as we would like to,” coach Nick Nurse said. “It’s not always easy coming off a back-to-back like that and it took us a minute to get into the game. I think that we gave up some easy offense and dug ourselves a hole.”
- In case you missed it, Philadelphia police said they have yet to find video evidence that forward Kelly Oubre was hit by a car, though they are continuing their investigation. “I don’t have any reason not to believe him,” Nurse said, via Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“We showed a lot of toughness — more mental than physical — and found a way to win,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters.
- Thibodeau added that Brunson in particular showed some stick-to-itiveness in a close game and came through when they needed him most. “He couldn’t find his rhythm early,” Thibodeau said. “But he just kept working the game, working the game, working the game.”