How Atmosphere Vs. 76ers Fueled Al Horford In Celtics Win

'I feel like that got me going'


February 26

Al Horford had no issue finding motivation during Saturday night’s 110-107 Boston Celtics victory over the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.

Horford, who signed a four-year deal with the 76ers in 2019 and was traded in 2020, returned to where he played just 23 games a few years ago. While that stint didn’t go as planned with Horford recording his lowest scoring average in 11 seasons, the same can’t be said in Boston. During the offseason, the 36-year-old primarily focused on his outside shooting to remain valuable to Boston’s rotation.

And that summertime work paid dividends once again. Horford scored 15 points and drained 5-of-8 3-point attempts in Philadelphia, just one shy of matching his career-high. This outside shooting spectacle featured Horford going 4-for-4 in the third quarter, contributing to a pivotal push while trailing the 76ers.

The Philadelphia fans in attendance couldn’t faze the 16-year veteran, who flipped them to his advantage as he acknowledged afterward.

“I like it,” Horford said, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “I take it as respect. I wasn’t having, I guess, my best game offensively. I feel like that got me going.”

It was Horford’s first battle against Boston’s Eastern Conference rival since the season opener, and a much-improved performance as well. Horford tallied just six points in their previous meeting and shot just 2-of-7 from the field.

Fast forward 60 games later and Horford remains a key member of Joe Mazzulla’s starting lineup and the Celtics remain a league-best 44-17 on the season. Horford is averaging 9.3 points through 47 contests, shooting 4.9 3-point attempts and knocking down 43% of them.

Horford and the Celtics have one final matchup against the 76ers scheduled for the regular season on April 4. Boston will seek a 4-0 season series sweep.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
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