Boston Celtics prevailed over the long-term Eastern Conference Philadelphia 76ers and former head coach Doc Rivers (87-88). Tatum scored 26 points with a career-high 16 rebounds on Wednesday night.
Al Horford, who left Boston to sign with the Sixers in 2019 and had the worst season of his career, had 10 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots, keeping Joel Embiid to 3-of-17 shooting.
Robert Williams III blocked Georges Niang’s shot at the buzzer to give the Celtics the victory in their first game this season against the Sixers.
“It makes all the difference,” Tatum said on Robert Williams, who missed the last three games with a non-COVID illness.
“In the defensive end, even offensively, is one of the best passers. He’s like a safety net, if you get beat you trust that Rob is going to if not block it alter the shot with his ability. You just got that security blanket back there with Rob being in the paint,” Tatum stated in the post-game presser.
Williams had three blocks in the game, one came at the final shot of the game on George Niang to secure the victory.
“It was just a win, and it felt really good for us to get this win. Tonight it was a grind, but there is no question it’s already been kind of a full season. My whole mindset was to win this game, doesn’t matter what cause”, Al Horford said on facing his former team.
Getting shipped out from Philadelphia to Oklahoma City was ”a very low point for me,” Horford said on the past season.
”I was written off. I’m just glad I got another opportunity in a place where I want to be,” he said. ”There’s a lot of satisfaction being back here and playing at a high level.”
The Celtics, who improved to 12-10 following their win in Boston, will visit Utah on Friday night to face the Jazz.