BOSTON - It took less than a quarter against the Boston Celtics to realize that the 76ers would not snap out of their road struggles.

With 1 minute, 50 seconds left in the quarter Monday night, the Sixers had scored 14 points but were already trailing by 19.

The Celtics built their lead to as many as 27 points while cruising to a 108-89 victory at TD Garden.

It was the 14th straight road loss for the Sixers (15-52). Meanwhile, the Celtics (30-36) extended two winning streaks.

This was their fifth consecutive win. They also swept this season's four-game series against the Sixers.

"The game was determined in the first period," said Sixers coach Brett Brown, whose squad trailed by 38-18 after one quarter. "It almost starts and stops there."

Brown didn't feel as if his team competed in the opening quarter as the Celtics got whatever they wanted offensively.

"I think we were screened easily," Brown said. "They got free looks easily. They didn't feel us. We give them credit. They made shots. We missed as abundance of layups and open looks."

The Sixers did, indeed, have the bad combination of not being able to shoot or defend. They shot 40.5 percent and allowed the Celtics to shoot 50 percent. Boston made 11 of its first 15 shots en route to shooting 66.7 percent in the first quarter.

All five Celtics starters scored in double digits as center Tyler Zeller led all scorers with a career-high 26 points. One of those starters, former Sixer Evan Turner, finished with 10 points. He sat out the fourth quarter. Starting shooting guard Avery Bradley added 20 points and game highs of 10 rebounds and six assists.

Despite the loss, Nerlens Noel had his best performance in three homecomings. The Sixers center's hometown of Everett, Mass., is less than four miles from TD Garden. He finished with team highs of 18 points and seven rebounds to go with two steals and a block.

In a preseason opener won by Boston on Oct. 6, Noel made just 2 of 9 shots to finish with four points, four turnovers and a technical foul before fouling out in 27 minutes. He scored eight points on 1-for-5 shooting to go with seven rebounds and four turnovers in 27 minutes of a 107-96 regular-season loss Feb. 6

"This was my better one," Noel said of his performance. "But I think I have to do a lot more than that to help my team win. I should have brought it on the defensive end a little more. And I should have been more assertive."

Wroten update

Brown said that Tony Wroten's recovery and rehabilitation are going as planned. The point guard is recovering from knee surgery Feb. 3 to repair a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

@PompeyOnSixers