NBA: Celtics rally to beat 76ers in London; Raptors rout struggling Cavaliers
Kyrie Irving had 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds and the Boston Celtics overcame a 22-point deficit to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 114-103 on Thursday night in the eighth NBA game played in England.
Jaylen Brown added 21 points, and Marcus Morris had 19 points and eight rebounds to help the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics extend their winning streak to seven games.
JJ Redick had 22 points and made five three-pointers for Philadelphia, but the 76ers were unable to take advantage of their fast start as the Celtics’ NBA-best defense tightened at O2 Arena.
Joel Embiid had 16 points, and fellow All-Star hopeful Ben Simmons added 15 for the 76ers.
Irving and Embiid struggled early, going a combined one for 10 from the field in the first quarter. Despite ending the quarter pointless, Embiid was able to make an impact on defense, notably swatting away Irving’s attempted layup.
Embiid and Simmons helped out Redick at the start of the second and the 76ers made their first nine shots of the quarter to open the 22-point lead with 6:56 remaining in the quarter.
However, Irving finally made a three-pointer, sparking a strong Celtics finish to the half as they closed to 57-48.
Having been outshone by fellow rookie-of-the-year contender Simmons in the first half, Tatum began the second half hot, making his first five shots to bring the Celtics within a point.
The Celtics soon took their first lead midway through the third quarter.
at Toronto 133, Cleveland 99: LeBron James and the struggling Cavaliers absorbed their most-lopsided loss of the season to the Raptors. The Cavaliers have dropped six of eight dating to a Christmas Day defeat at defending champion Golden State. James scored 26 points in this loss while Isaiah Thomas missed his first 11 shots.
After losing to Minnesota 127-99 on Monday, the Cavaliers fell by an even bigger margin. Toronto’s 133 points were the most by any Cavaliers opponent this season, and marked the third straight game that Cleveland has allowed at least 127.
Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 22 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and a season-high 18 rebounds and the Raptors overcame the absences of two starters.
C.J.Miles scored 16 points, Pascal Siakam and Norm Powell each had 14 and DeMar DeRozan 13 for the Raptors, who were without point guard Kyle Lowry (bruised tailbone) and forward Serge Ibaka (suspension). Jakob Poeltl had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors.
VanVleet made six of eight 3-point attempts as the Raptors connected on a season-high 18 shots from beyond the arc.
9 p.m.: This articles has been updated with results of the Cavaliers-Raptors game.
This article was originally published at 3:40 p.m.
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