PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid had 25 points and 13 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers used a dominating start to roll to a 111-99 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday night.
Embiid finished five points shy of setting a franchise record with 30 or more points in nine straight games. He remains tied with Allen Iverson and Wilt Chamberlain for the club mark with eight in a row.
The game turned on Philadelphia’s 28-2 first-quarter run.
Tyrese Maxey scored 23 points, and Tobias Harris and Seth Curry each added 17 to help the 76ers win for the eighth time in nine games.
Jaylen Brown scored 21 points and Jayson Tatum had 20 for Boston. The Celtics had won three in a row.
With both teams playing the first half of a back-to-back, Boston coach Ime Udoka pulled his starters with 9:17 left and trailing 89-72.
Philadelphia led by as many as 22 points in the first half, and the Celtics never cut the margin under double-digits after halftime.
Embiid has been on a tear since Dec. 26, upping his season average to 27.1 points per game entering Friday after a dominating eight-game stretch in which he averaged 32.6 points.
Things got heated with 28.8 seconds left in the quarter when Josh Richardson fouled Matisse Thybulle hard during Thybulle’s breakaway try. The players came together, but no punches were thrown. Richardson, who played for the 76ers with Thybulle during the 2019-20 season, was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul and both Thybulle and Grant Williams were issued technicals.
Thybulle was in the middle of another Flagrant 1 with 7:35 left in the third quarter when Dennis Schroder pushed Thybulle from behind on his way to a fast-break dunk. Thybulle came down hard on his back but stayed in the game.
Embiid received a technical after scoring and getting fouled with 2:19 left in the third for an apparent elbow in the direction of Payton Pritchard.
Celtics: Marcus Smart (health and safety protocols), Boston’s fourth-leading scorer (11.6 ppg), didn’t play for the second straight contest.
76ers: Danny Green (right hip) was out. It was his 12th missed game this season. “He’s having one of those years,” coach Doc Rivers said. … Shake Milton (back) sat for the fifth straight contest, and Rivers said he isn’t close to returning.
Celtics: Fell to 8-14 on the road. … Trail season series 2-1. Teams are scheduled to meet one more time, Feb. 15 in Philadelphia. … Robert Williams III had 12 points and 14 rebounds.
76ers: Improved to 9-9 at home and 8-6 with Embiid in the lineup in Philadelphia.
Celtics: Host Chicago on Saturday night.
76ers: At Miami on Saturday night.