Phila 76ers 118, Boston Celtics 115
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
Recap for Digital Sports Desk by Field Level Media
PHILADELPHIA – Joel Embiid collected 37 points and a career-high 22 rebounds to go along with a late key block on Kyrie Irving as the host Philadelphia 76ers averted a season sweep by the Boston Celtics with a 118-115 victory on Wednesday.
Embiid also made a personal-best 20 free throws (on 21 attempts). Jimmy Butler scored 15 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter for the 76ers, who have won six in a row overall.
Irving scored 16 of his 36 points in the first quarter for the Celtics, who fell short against Philadelphia for just the third time in the teams’ past 20 regular-season meetings.
Al Horford scored 22 points and Terry Rozier added 20 points off the bench for Boston, which saw guard Marcus Smart receive a flagrant-2 foul and an immediate ejection less than a minute into the third quarter following a two-handed shove into the back of Embiid.
The Celtics also saw a nine-point lead evaporate in the fourth quarter with Butler draining a trio of 3-pointers in a 3 1/2-minute stretch to forge a tie at 105. The teams were deadlocked at 113 with 1:17 left before Ben Simmons’ driving layup and subsequent foul shot regained the lead for the 76ers with 40.8 seconds remaining.
Irving’s floating jumper was blocked by Embiid with 30 seconds remaining, and Butler drilled a jumper at the other end to push the advantage to 118-113 with 5.5 seconds left.
In the first quarter, Irving drained a jumper to ignite a late 18-9 run over the final four minutes to give Boston a 39-30 lead after 12 minutes.
Embiid drilled a 3-pointer to close the deficit to 42-37, but the Celtics pushed the lead to 60-45 after Rozier sank 3-pointers on consecutive possessions and Irving made a pair of free throws after drawing a foul on Embiid.
Boston center Aron Baynes injured his left ankle with five minutes remaining in the first half and did not return. He sustained the injury after landing awkwardly on the foot of teammate Smart.
–Field Level Media