In a contentious matchup, the Boston Celtics (15-4) managed to secure a 125-119 victory against the depleted Philadelphia 76ers (12-7), overcoming the ejection of Jayson Tatum.
Tatum, who contributed 21 points before his ejection, contested a foul call vigorously near the end of the third quarter, resulting in his expulsion from the game. The Celtics, however, rallied in his absence to clinch the win.
The Sixers faced adversity without their top scorers, Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, but Tatum’s departure proved to be a turning point in the game.
Boston held a six-point lead in the third quarter, reaching a 95-91 advantage in the final moments. However, a pivotal play involving Tatum’s foul and subsequent ejection altered the course of the game. De’Anthony Melton’s 3-pointer and the ensuing free throws tied the score at 95.
Despite Melton’s impressive 21-point performance for the Sixers, foul trouble limited his impact as he fouled out with 5:08 remaining in the game.
Patrick Beverley stepped up for Philadelphia with 26 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, keeping the Sixers in contention. However, a crucial 8-0 run by the Celtics in the final minutes secured the win for Boston.
Derrick White contributed 21 points for the Celtics, while Payton Pritchard made a significant impact with all 10 of his points coming in the fourth quarter.
Jaylen Brown and Al Horford each added 20 points for Boston, showcasing a balanced offensive effort. Notably, Brown and Horford combined for back-to-back blocks on Tobias Harris, a pivotal defensive sequence that swung the momentum in favor of the Celtics.
In the closing moments, Boston trailed 116-115, but strong plays from Horford, free throws, and a crucial basket by Pritchard secured a seven-point lead with 18 seconds left, ultimately sealing the victory for the Celtics.