11:04 PM - February 1, 2020
11:04 PM - February 1, 2020

The Sixers were blown out by the Celtics, 116-95, Saturday night in Boston in a nationally-televised showcase game.

Joel Embiid had an awful night: just 1-for-11 from the field, 5 rebounds and 4 turnovers.

Al Horford also struggled: 9 points on 4-for-11 shooting, in his first game in Boston since he moved to Philadelphia. though he did have 9 rebounds. Tobias Harris was 4-for-12.

Jaylen Brown had 32 points and 10 rebounds for Boston, and Jayson Tatum had 25 points.

The only bright spot for the Sixers was Ben Simmons, who had 23 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists.

Here’s a look back at our live blog of the game.

76ers coach Brett Brown had a long night.
Michael Dwyer / AP
76ers coach Brett Brown had a long night.
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10:54 PM - February 1, 2020
10:54 PM - February 1, 2020

It’s over

Finally.

We’re supposed to be objective over here, so: that was objectively awful.

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10:54 PM - February 1, 2020
10:54 PM - February 1, 2020

Joel Embiid is on the bench

And it looks like he’s going to be staying there for the rest of the night.

He’s 1-for-11 from the field, 0-for-4 from 3, and has 4 turnovers and just 5 rebounds.

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10:44 PM - February 1, 2020
10:44 PM - February 1, 2020

It’s almost over, mercifully

Celtics 96, Sixers 76, 7:38 to go in the fourth.

Yeesh.

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10:30 PM - February 1, 2020
10:30 PM - February 1, 2020

End of the third quarter

Celtics 86, Sixers 67. The Sixers are 4-for-24 from beyond the arc.

If I had something profound to say about how bad this is, I would. I don’t. It’s just bad.

At least Ben Simmons threw down a nice dunk just now. He’s up to 21 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal. As Marc Narducci points out, Simmons is 9-for-14 from the field and the rest of the team is 14-for-50.

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10:10 PM - February 1, 2020
10:10 PM - February 1, 2020

If you’re waiting for a comeback...

... uh, it’s not happening.

The Celtics lead 69-53 with 7:10 left in the third quarter, and Brett Brown has called timeout again. The Sixers are 0-for-9 from the field in the quarter.

Joel Embiid is -26 on the night. Boston’s Gordon Hayward is +21 even though he’s 1-for-8 from the field.

Al Horford is 3-for-10 from the field and Tobias Harris is 4-for-10.

The Sixers' Raul Neto tries to pass out of a traffic jam in the lane during the first half.
Michael Dwyer / AP
The Sixers' Raul Neto tries to pass out of a traffic jam in the lane during the first half.
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10:03 PM - February 1, 2020
10:03 PM - February 1, 2020

On Joel Embid’s lack of shots

ABC’s Hubie Brown pointed out on TV that Embiid’s 4 attempts is tied for his lowest number of attempts in a first half over the last three seasons.

Israel Gutierrez talked to Brett Brown at halftime, and said Embiid’s lack of shots is “more of a mentality than it is of play." Gutierrez said that “tells you all you need to know about Joel right now — clearly not playing hard enough to his coach’s liking.”

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9:45 PM - February 1, 2020
9:45 PM - February 1, 2020

Halftime

Celtics 59, Sixers 51.

A little better, but still not good. The Sixers are shooting 18-for-45 from the field, 3-for-14 from three-point range.

Ben Simmons is leading the 76ers so far with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Al Horford has just 7 points on 3-for-8 shooting from the field, and Joel Embiid is just 1-for-4.

Jayson Tatum has 16 points for Boston, and Jaylen Brown has 14.

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9:40 PM - February 1, 2020
9:40 PM - February 1, 2020

Marcus Smart injured

Celtics guard Marcus Smart hit the floor hard amid a collision with 1:42 left in the half. He was grasping his groin, and we’ll leave the description at that. He stayed in the game, but looked pretty shaken up.

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9:37 PM - February 1, 2020
9:37 PM - February 1, 2020

Embiid’s third foul

Joel Embiid just headed to the bench after picking up his third foul, though he didn’t stay there for long.

Boston leads 53-41 with 3 minutes to go in the half. Jayson Tatum has 16 points.

The Sixers’ shooting is still awful: 13-37 from the field, 3-14 from three-point range.

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9:24 PM - February 1, 2020
9:24 PM - February 1, 2020

Tobias Harris finally hits a three

Harris has the only two made threes of the night so far among the Sixers’ 10 attempts.

“They can’t get any better looks than what they’re getting right now,” Hubie Brown says on TV. “Coach Brown has sent in a number of reserves here, guys that are known for good three-point shooting, and unfortunately it hasn’t clicked as of yet.”

That includes Raul Neto, Furkan Korkmaz and Mike Scott at the moment.

The Celtics’ lead is up to 39-24 with 8:10 to go in the second quarter, and Brett Brown has called timeout again.

Keith Pompey isn’t impressed:

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9:15 PM - February 1, 2020
9:15 PM - February 1, 2020

End of the first quarter

Celtics 32, Sixers 19.

The Sixers are shooting 6-for-18 so far, including 0-for-4 from 3-point range, and have committed 7 turnovers. Tobias Harris is just 1-for-4 overall, and Ben Simmons is 2-for-5. Boston is shooting 11-for-18 from the field.

“They’re just coming at Jo. We haven’t responded well to it,” Brett Brown said in a TV interview just now “Seven turnovers is a dizzying first period number. I think it’ll settle down. I give credit to the Celtics’ defense in the first quarter.”

Celtics guard Bradley Wanamaker, a Philadelphia native, got t’ed up for taunting Joel Embiid after throwing down a breakaway slam dunk in the final seconds of the quarter.

Wanamaker, for those who don’t remember him from back in the day, went to Roman Catholic High, then Pitt for college. He wasn’t drafted to the NBA, so he played in Europe for seven years with a brief stop in the G-League in 2012. He joined the Celtics in July of 2018.

76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) tries to drive against Boston's Marcus Smart during the first quarter.
Michael Dwyer / AP
76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) tries to drive against Boston's Marcus Smart during the first quarter.
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8:56 PM - February 1, 2020
8:56 PM - February 1, 2020

Then it got worse

Celtics 22, 76ers 8, 5:08 1st, and Brett Brown calls timeout.

It’s a 15-2 run for Boston, and the Sixers now have committed 5 turnovers in the game. The Celtics have 4 steals.

Yeah, it’s early, but the turnovers are troubling.

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8:51 PM - February 1, 2020
8:51 PM - February 1, 2020

Early on

Celtics 16, Sixers 6, 6:46 1st. Not a great start. The Sixers are 3-for-11 from the field so far, including 0-for-3 from 3-point range.

Joel Embiid scored the game’s first points with a baby hook shot, and Ben Simmons scored the Sixers’ second basket with a fiery drive-and-one — but he missed the free throw.

Al Horford airballed a three along the way, with Celtics fans booing him every time he touches the ball. Embiid has 3 turnovers so far.

Boston’s Jayson Tatum was whistled for his second foul with 9:37 to go in the quarter, but he stayed in the game and has 9 points.

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8:41 PM - February 1, 2020
8:41 PM - February 1, 2020

Tonight’s starters

For the Sixers: Ben Simmons, Shake Milton, Tobias Harris, Al Horford and Joel Embiid.

For the Celtics: Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Daniel Theis.

And for the bettors: The Sixers are 1.5-point favorites, and the over-under is 213.

Boston star point guard Kemba Walker is out tonight because of a sore left knee.

“The Celtics keep you up late trying to game-plan defensively, especially, against them, and there’ll be similar concerns tonight,” 76ers coach Brett Brown told said before the game, as Marc Narducci reports here. “It’s just different without Kemba.”

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8:34 PM - February 1, 2020
8:34 PM - February 1, 2020

Paul Pierce picks the Celics to win

Of course he would, but in case anyone was wondering, Paul Pierce said on ABC’s pregame show that he thinks the Celtics will win tonight.

Hubie Brown, meanwhile, is putting the spotlight on Joel Embiid. “When he’s on his game, it’s an all-around game."

And as for Ben Simmons, “he’s right up there with the best" thanks to his averages of 8.9 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

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8:18 PM - February 1, 2020
8:18 PM - February 1, 2020

TV and radio details

Obviously I’d like you to stay here and hang out, but hey, you can watch or listen to the broadcast and follow the blog too. It’s a national TV game on ABC, and the local radio feed is on 97.5 The Fanatic. ABC’s crew is play-by-play announcer Mark Jones, ageless analyst Hubie Brown, sideline reporter Israel Gutierrez and refereeing expert Steve Javie. On the radio, Tom McGinnis is on the call as always.

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8:11 PM - February 1, 2020
8:11 PM - February 1, 2020

Pregame reading

Some stories to check out before tipoff:

— As Keith Pompey writes, the Sixers are trying to finish a season sweep of the Celtics for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

— The Sixers welcome back Al Horford tonight after he missed their last game due to knee soreness. Keith notes it’s Horford’s first time back in Boston since he switched sides in the rivalry last summer.

— Matisse Thybulle might have a bigger spotlight on him than usual after he was snubbed from the Rising Stars game, as Keith writes.

Columnist David Murphy says the Sixers almost gave up on Furkan Korkmaz too soon, and wonders if they’ll repeat that mistake by trading Zhaire Smith.

— Columnist Mike Sielski looks back at a time when Kobe Bryant hinted he might play for the Sixers some day.

— Kobe Bryant’s birth certificate said he was born in Philadelphia, but as Frank Fitzpatrick writes, he actually wasn’t.

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8:04 PM - February 1, 2020
8:04 PM - February 1, 2020

What’s your pick?

Our Sixers beat writer Keith Pompey checks in from Boston, asking which team you think will win tonight.

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8:00 PM - February 1, 2020
8:00 PM - February 1, 2020

Welcome

Hello, friends. Welcome to our Sixers-Celtics live blog. A little something new and different we’re trying. Thanks for following along.

If you aren’t an Inquirer subscriber yet, how about you fix that? We have a sale going right now: 54 weeks of digital access for $54. Check it out here.

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