Joel Embiid’s streak ends, but Sixers top Celtics

Joel Embiid posted 25 points, 13 rebounds and six assists as the Philadelphia 76ers downed the visiting Boston Celtics 111-99 on Friday night for their eighth victory in nine games.

Embiid finished five points shy of what would have been his ninth straight game with at least 30 points, which would have broke the franchise record he shares with Hall of Famers Allen Iverson and Wilt Chamberlain.

Tyrese Maxey added 23 points, Tobias Harris had 17 points and nine rebounds and Seth Curry scored 17 for Philadelphia, which bounced back from a 109-98 setback against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday that snapped a season-high, seven-game win streak.

Jaylen Brown scored 21 points and Jayson Tatum added 20 points and 11 boards for the Celtics. Payton Pritchard contributed 17 points off the bench, and Robert Williams III totaled 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Boston had won three straight and five of seven games overall coming in.

It was Philadelphia’s second straight win over Boston after prevailing 108-103 on the road on Dec. 20. The Celtics took the first meeting between the teams this season, winning 88-87 at home on Dec. 1.

Celtics starting guard Marcus Smart had missed Wednesday’s win at Indiana with a right thigh contusion, but he was sidelined Friday in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocol.

Philadelphia played without forward Danny Green (hip) and guard Shake Milton (back), who is reportedly not expected to return in the near future.

Boston opened a 10-4 lead before Philadelphia came to life an ended the first quarter with a 32-14 advantage.

The 76ers pulled away and led by as many as 22 late in the second before taking a 55-35 advantage into halftime.

Romeo Langford’s free throw with 1:01 remaining in the game got Boston within 107-97, but the Celtics were unable to come any closer.

Boston returns home to face the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, the same night Philadelphia visits the Miami Heat.

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