Sometimes all you have to do is trust the process.
The Boston Celtics trailed by double digits to the lowly Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night, but they came back late in the third quarter and poured it on in the final frame to win 110-106 at TD Garden. Al Horford hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining, as the C’s set a new franchise record with 19 made baskets form beyond the arc.
Avery Bradley was the star of the game with 26 points and nine rebounds. Isaiah Thomas (24 points), Al Horford (19 points, 12 rebounds, four assists), Marcus Smart (14 points, eight assists) and Amir Johnson (13 points) also had big offensive games.
Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 23 points.
With the win, Boston improved to 22-14, while Philadelphia dropped to 9-25. The Celtics have won nine of their last 11 games.
Here’s how it all went down.
Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Al Horford
Bradley had quite the first quarter. He made four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points. Boston scored 18 of its 25 first-quarter points from beyond the arc, shooting 6 of 11 from 3-point range. Horford didn’t score in the opening 12 minutes, but he did record five rebounds and four assists. Embiid led the way for the 76ers with nine points.
The Celtics held a slim two-point lead after one quarter, but the second frame was a whole different story. Boston continued to put up shots from distance, making 4 of 8 3-point attempts, but that mostly was because of how dominant the 76ers were in the paint. Philadelphia outscored Boston 30-6 in the paint in the first 24 minutes, which contributed greatly to the C’s 62-51 halftime deficit.
Embiid had a nice first half with 17 points, four rebounds and one “Trust the Process” chant.
The Celtics trailed by as many as 14 points, but they almost came all the way back with a strong close to the third quarter. Bradley’s incredible game continued, as he upped his point total to 26 with six rebounds.
Boston trailed by two points entering the fourth, but it scored the first five points on a Smart jumper and Kelly Olynyk 3-pointer to take the lead. But Philly wouldn’t go away, and it took back the lead on a Nerlens Noel alley-oop with 7:35 remaining.
The game remained close throughout the final minutes, but the Celtics held on late thanks in large part to Horford, who scored 14 points in the frame.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Trust the process, indeed.
Boston will close its four-game homestand Saturday with a 7:30 p.m. ET contest against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images