NBA Roundup: Philadelphia 76ers slap the Boston Celtics with first home loss

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics

Embiid's thrilling double-double tirade for the Sixers was sweetened with 13 rebounds and six assists as teammates Tobias Harris and Mike Scott provided backup with 23 and 15 points respectively. Philadelphia now sits on a four-game winning streak at 19-7 as the Celtics drop to 17-7 in the stats.

Kemba Walker led Boston with a team-high 29 points and eight assists as Enes Kanter snatched a strong nine rebounds and put up 20 points. Gordon Hayward, Daniel Theis and Jayson Tatum scored 19, 16 and 15 points respectively, but it wasn’t enough to hold off their first home loss this season. 

The Celtics opened their fixture in the fitting form with an 8-point lead, but the Sixers soon rose to the challenge with back-to-back points which tied the score. Boston held their own throughout and were ahead at 36-28 by the end of the first quarter and up to three points by half-time. However, Embiid experienced a surge of energy late in the game to push the Sixers up to a 106-97 advantage with two minutes remaining.

Boston rallied with Walker hitting three free throws, Kanter making a tip-in and Hayward knocking down his jumper, closing their deficit to two (106-104) with one minute on the clock. Tatum’s three over Embiid made it a one-point game at 110-109 but the Sixers centre countered, making five of six free throws in the last 26 seconds. A final blocked shot by Embiid shut down the game for good.

Philadelphia have won eight of their last nine games and are slowly knocking down the list of undefeated teams at home with themselves and Miami Heat the only ones remaining.

Mavericks 122, Pistons 111

Dubbed the all-star moment of the evening, Luka Doncic hit a historic 41-point triple-double in Mexico City becoming the first NBA player to do so outside of the USA and Canada as he powered the Mavericks to victory over Detroit. It isn’t the first time the 20-year-old point guard has broken multiple records and it won’t be the last as his eighth triple-double of the season sees him passing Magic Johnson (6) and LeBron James (6) for the most in NBA history prior to turning 22.

Last night also marked the fourth 40-point game in Doncic’s career, tying him in second-place with Kevin Durant for the most under 21-years-old. But wait, we aren’t finished, his streak of 20+ point, 5+ rebounds and 5+ assists games ranks third overall in NBA history. What’s next? 

The Mavericks didn’t end their flashy performances with Doncic as Seth Curry showed up off the bench, splashing 30 points in 15 shots – only one point short of his career-high. His fire shooting read 6-of-9 from beyond the arc and 11-for-15 from the field as he becomes the third Maverick in over a decade to hit 30 points off the bench. 

Dallas Mavericks v Detroit Pistons

Even when we analyse the Piston’s performance, Doncic came back like a thorn in the side of their defence, picking them apart throughout. Andre Drummond hit the team-high 23 points and 15 rebounds as he recorded a nice double-double. However, Detroit’s starters of Blake Griffin and Luke Kennard seemed slack on the support, to say the least, combining for only 18 points and a miserable 6-for-29 on shooting.

Both teams both tested their luck with 14-0 runs late in the first half, but the Mavericks reigned supreme in controlling the glass as they took a 65-58 lead into half-time – fuelled by an eight-point run by Doncic.

It’s safe to say there is an air of excitement surrounding Doncic and his growing role but time will decide what happens with his MVP-worthy performance.

Thursday's NBA:

Nuggets 114, Trail Blazers 99

Cavaliers 117, Spurs 109 (OT)

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