Sixers-Celtics best/worst: Joel Embiid’s energy, Kemba Walker’s inconsistency
Embiid finished a game-best plus-21 in 36 minutes, 5 seconds. He scored the game’s final five points and 16 total in the fourth quarter.
BOSTON — Here’s my look at the best and worst performances from the 76ers’ 115-109 victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night at TD Garden.
Best performance: This is easy. Joel Embiid gets this for answering his critics by finishing with game highs of 38 points and 13 rebounds and adding six assists and one block, with two turnovers. The Sixers’ two-time All-Star center finished a game-best plus-21 in 36 minutes, 5 seconds. He scored the game’s final five points and 16 overall in the fourth quarter.
Worst performance: This goes to Jaylen Brown. The Celtics shooting guard had eight points on 3-for-9 shooting. He had a team-worst three turnovers and a team-worst minus-14 rating. He also had more fouls (four) than assists (two).
Best defensive performance: This was an extremely tough one, because Sixers rookie Matisse Thybulle was getting baked by Kemba Walker early on. Meanwhile, the team’s starting guards, Ben Simmons and Josh Richardson, were having solid defensive performances. However, I’m giving this to Thybulle for what he did with the game on the line. The reserve guard had a hand in Walker’s shooting just 1-for-8 and scoring just eight of his 29 points after intermission. Walker had three points in the fourth quarter, all from the foul line, as he missed his four shot attempts. Thybulle tied for the team high with two blocks, his last one coming on Walker’s three-point attempt with 8.1 seconds left.
Worst statistic: I have to give this to Walker’s second-half shooting. Missing 7 of 8 shots is not what you expect from a three-time All-Star who is a huge part of the Celtics’ offensive production.
Best statistic: This goes to the Sixers’ fourth-quarter foul shooting. They made 85.7% percent (12 of 14) in the final quarter. Embiid made 7 of 8. Richardson went 2-for-2, and Simmons was 3-for-4.
Worst of the worst: I have to give this to the Celtics’ offensive execution in the final 26.5 seconds. They committed a turnover and both of their shots during the stretch were blocked.
Best of the best: I’m giving this to Embiid’s energy. Locked in, he interacted well with his teammates on both ends of the floor. Embiid was also the vocal leader in the locker room. It was obvious that he took the criticism to heart.