PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Joel Embiid had 25 points and 13 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers used a dominant start to a 111-99 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday night.
Embiid finished five points shy of setting a franchise record with 30 or more points in nine consecutive games. He remains linked with Allen Iverson and Wilt Chamberlain for the club’s record with eight in a row.
The game returned on Philadelphia’s 28-2 first quarter run.
Tyrese Maxey scored 23 points, and Tobias Harris and Seth Curry added 17 each to help the 76ers win for the eighth time in nine games.
Jaylen Brown scored 21 points and Jayson Tatum had 20 for Boston. The Celtics had won three in a row.
With both teams playing the first half of a back-to-back, Boston coach Ime Udoka pulled his starters up with 9:17 missing and dragging 89-72.
Philadelphia led by as many as 22 points in the first half, and the Celtics never cut the double-digit margin after half-time.
Embiid has been in tears since December 26, raising his season average to 27.1 points per game coming in on Friday after a dominant eight-game deal in which he has an average of 32.6 points.
Things warmed up with 28.8 seconds left in the quarter when Josh Richardson severely beat Matisse Thybulle during Thybulle’s escape attempt. The players gathered, but no punches were fired. Richardson, who played for the 76ers with Thybulle during the 2019-20 season, was rated a Flagrant 1 failure and both Thybulle and Grant Williams were technically issued.
Thybulle was in the middle of another Flagrant 1 with 7:35 left in the third quarter when Dennis Schroder pushed Thybulle from behind on his way to a quick dunk. Thybulle fell hard on his back, but he was in the game.
Embiid received a technician after scoring and cleared with 2:19 left in the third for an apparent elbow in the direction of Payton Pritchard.
Celtics: Marcus Smart (health and safety protocols), Boston’s fourth-highest scorer (11.6 ppg), did not play for the second consecutive challenge.
76ers: Danny Green (right hip) was out. It was his 12th missed game this season. “He had one of those years,” coach Doc Rivers said. … Shake Milton (back) sat down for the fifth straight contest, and Rivers said he is nowhere near returning.
Celtics: Fall to 8-14 on the road. … Trail season series 2-1. The teams are scheduled to meet once again, on February 15 in Philadelphia. … Robert Williams III had 12 points and 14 rebounds.
76ers: Improved to 9-9 at home and 8-6 with Embiid in training in Philadelphia.
Celtics: Host Chicago on Saturday night.
76ers: Miami Saturday night.