On his last free throws of the quarter with 16.5 seconds left, calls of "trust the process" rained down on Embiid, who nodded his head to what was certainly music to his ears.
They will look to keep their hot streak alive when they host the New Orleans Pelicans at TD Garden on Saturday night. The Pelicans lost consecutive games, most recently to the Atlanta Hawks at home, 94-99, mostly because of terrible field goal percentage, 36.6%. He has everything. It's nearly like you're going to have to double-team him.
76ers: T. J. McConnell had a career-high 15 assists. However, he might get his chance in this tilt but could be on minute restriction.
After a pair of free throws by Philadelphia's Joel Embiid with 28.7 seconds to play put the Sixers ahead 106-104, Boston took the lead on an Al Horford 3-pointer with 17.2 seconds to play - arguably the biggest shot he has hit in this his first season with the Boston Celtics.
Horford, who finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocks, was 2-for-9 from the floor through three quarters but then hit three 3-pointers and a two for 11 straight points for his team in a 3:01 span.
One thing is for sure, the Sixers know how to start basketball games and gain momentum as they progress, it's just a little harder to close out games on a nightly basis. Tyler Zeller will sit out this match with illness, but Brad Stevens doesn't have other injury concerns. But the Celtics played down to a bad team, and that happens in sports.
Avery Bradley scored 26 points and was a rebound short of a double-double as Boston notched its 22nd win in 36 outings. Thomas is usually the most efficient, but Bradley is a great shooter and can make a difference as well. The Celtics have won nine of 11 and four straight at home. Boston scored 19 three-pointers last night, and now they're facing a team who is also very good from the perimeter, so I expect plenty of points in this duel.
Fans at the Sixers-Celtics clash on Friday night serenaded Embiid with "trust the process" chants when he went to the free throw line during that second quarter.
Davis will lead the Pelicans with the support from Holiday and Hield, while Jones, Moore, and Evans should contribute off the bench. They also had two home back-to-backs in 1998-99, but that was a work stoppage-shortened season.
Thoughts on the game?