Rapid Recap: Celtics collapse in second half for second straight loss in Philly

Rapid Recap: Celtics collapse in second half for second straight loss in Philly

Celtics

Rapid Recap: Celtics collapse in second half for second straight loss in Philly

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Losing to the Sixers is always the most annoying type of losing. No doubt about it. So it’s even worse when the Celtics do it twice in a damn row! (122-110 this time.) This one couldn’t be blamed on a Sixers-friendly whistle, though — not in any significant way. Despite Jaylen Brown having one of his best NBA performances yet, the team as a whole shot poorly and was hopelessly out-rebounded as Joel Embiid and a vengeful Ben Simmons ran roughshod.

Brown shot 57% to reach 42 points alongside 9 boards, 3 assists, a steal and a block. The Marcus Smart/Kemba Walker backcourt also did well, earning 20-7-3-2 and 19-3-5-3, respectively. Aaaaaand that was kinda it for offense. The entire big-man contingent (Grant Williams, Rob Williams, Tristan Thompson and Daniel Theis) was available, but none of them could make buckets or fight off Philly’s size.

Generally speaking it was a bad time, though at least there were some “game recognize game” vibes:

And the ref shenanigans were back!

On the bright side, Rob Williams was back:

The game itself was normalizing, with the Cs just a couple of points behind the Sixers, when shit got miserable in an accidental collision between Brown and Pritchard:

While Pritch could move his feet in the most literal sense, he couldn’t walk on his own power, and there’s no way that’s good.

Silver lining:

But:

The Cs stayed just barely ahead of the Sixers for the remainder of the half. Herculean effort by Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris kept Philly in striking distance, but Boston served themselves well by baiting Embiid into 3 first-half fouls.

More attrition-based offense in the third quarter. Punch and counterpunch. Boston stayed just in front of Philly, and Weird Celtics Twitter stalwarts were having their fun with it:

It was not Embiid’s night, but the Sixers did manage to retake the lead late in Q3. The Celtics bench was not in the greatest shape, to put it mildly.

Tristan’s constipated-looking face in the below is my mood:

The beginning of Q4 looked like it could be a definitive wheels-falling-off-the-cart moment. Scapegoats emerged:

It’s hard to really blame one dude when the truth is that Jaylen Brown was all that kept them alive in the first half of Q4. Also Tristan did have this slick block:

It was too late, though, even as Brown raged till the bitter end: Simmons got hot on offense at just the right time; that plus some sloppy defense and ball-handling (and Sixers trips to the charity stripe) spelled Celtics doom.

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