Three takeaways from the Boston Celtics 112-109 win over 76ers

Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Boston Celtics put together a statement victory against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, winning 112-109 on the road. They are now 36-21 on the season.

After two straight disheartening games in Los Angeles for the Boston Celtics, a trip across the coast seems to have remedied things. A tightly fought game with the Philadelphia 76ers put Boston in a similar position to the one they were in against the Lakers a week prior, but a different result emerged: the Celtics held on to their lead.

Without Kyrie Irving, Boston needed others to step up. To the relief of Celtics fans everywhere, Gordon Hayward answered the call. His 26 points off the bench led both teams, and he shot an impressive 6-7 from deep in the contest. Hayward is getting back on track, and it couldn’t come at a better time.

Al Horford and Jayson Tatum also recorded 20-point performances, which was enough to get them over the hump. Poor performances from Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier, who combined for 5-22 from the field, were a bit discouraging, especially if Irving again has to deal with injuries in the postseason.

Boston controlled most of the game, always staying a few possessions ahead of the 76ers. A brief run in the third quarter saw a Philadelphia lead grow to 8, but the Celtics took back over before the end of the quarter.

The fourth quarter had some excitement, with a bit of back-and-forth action in the closing minutes. The 76ers had a chance late to tie with a three-pointer, but came up empty. Joel Embiid rebounded the miss and converted a layup, but with 2.4 seconds left, there wasn’t enough time to make use of it. Tatum made both free throws on the other end, and Jimmy Butler couldn’t even get a prayer up for overtime.

The win vaults the Celtics back to fourth in the Eastern conference with a record of 36-21. More importantly, they’ve now clinched the season series against the 76ers regardless of what happens in their final matchup, which could come in handy in the waning weeks of the regular season.

Here are three takeaways from the big victory.