Celtics

Final: Celtics 105, Sixers 87 – Jayson Tatum, bench shine in season-opening win over Philly

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

BOSTON --  It wasn’t the prettiest game, but a fantastic showing from Jayson Tatum (23 points) and a strong performance from the C’s bench gives the Celtics a win in their season opener, even with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward shooting a combined 6-for-26. Much more to come.

LIVE COVERAGE:

10:22: FINAL: Celtics beat the Sixers, 105-87.

10:12: Someone needs to take Joel Embiid out of this game. Tatum crosses him up and hits a bank shot, then Horford blocks him down the other end.

10:06: Jaylen Brown just obliterated Joel Embiid while driving to the rim. Brown/Tatum up to 32 combined points.

10:03: JJ Redick sinks a 3-pointer and the Celtics call a timeout.

9:57: Baynes follows that up with a slick bounce pass to Kyrie Irving, who cuts backdoor to the basket. C's taking control of this one.

9:55: Aron Baynes with a pair of treys. He's been fantastic so far off the bench.

9:46: Third quarter thoughts:

  • Aron Baynes started in place of Hayward to start the third. Should not come as a surprise, given Hayward's minute restrictions. Baynes has been strong down low against Embiid.
  • Jayson Tatum continues to surpass expectations. It's nuts that a 20-year-old is that smooth with the ball in his hands.
  • Marcus Morris started to heat up in the third, especially from his go-to spots at mid-range. He's 6-of-8 from the field with 13 points.

9:44: END THIRD: Celtics lead the Sixers, 77-66.

9:38: Marcus Smart with his first... Marcus Smart play of the season. He dives for a loose ball, but the Sixers eventually recover.

9:36: Jayson Tatum has so many moves he can go to on the offensive end. He's up to 20 points. No other Celtic is in double figures yet.

9:30: Huge ovation for Julian Edelman here at TD Garden.

9:29: Jayson Tatum with the emphatic slam. He's up to 15 points.

9:24: Irving showing signs of life. He sinks a 3-pointer to give Boston a 59-47 lead.

9:20: Aron Baynes sinks a 3-pointer and Philly calls a timeout. 56-45 Celtics.

9:18: And with 10:46 left in the third quarter, Kyrie Irving has his first point of the 2018-19 season - he sinks two free throws to give the Celtics a 53-45 lead.

9:16: Aron Baynes starts the second half in place of Gordon Hayward. As expected, Hayward on a bit of a minutes restriction.

Second Quarter Notes 

  • Brad Stevens found a nice mix to start the second quarter with Hayward and Tatum sharing the floor with Smart, Rozier and Baynes. That group opened things up with a 7-0  run and played some stifling defense against a Sixers unit featuring Simmons, Embiid and few other scoring options.
  • Philly's really having trouble scoring in the halfcourt sets. They are not in sync but the C's defense looks to be at a completely different level compared to the preseason.
  • Hayward knocked down a pair of midrange jumpers to break the ice early in the frame and has been very active on the defensive end with three steals.
  • Saric headed to the bench early in second quarter with three fouls, limiting him to just nine minutes in the first half.
  • Kyrie Irving labored through his worst offensive half as a Celtic, scoring zero points on 0-of-8 shooting. The majority of the looks were of the wide open variety but Irving could not find his range, particularly from downtown.
  • Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid got going in transition regularly to keep the Sixers close but the C's have locked them down extremely well in the halfcourt.

First Quarter Notes