Second-half letdown:The Celtics took care of their slow-starting ways on Thursday night but they couldn’t sustain it against Joel Embiid-less Sixers squad. Boston blew a 10-point first-half lead on their way to being outscored 61-43 in the second half in a 109-98 loss against the Sixers. Kemba Walker shook off a sprained thumb to finish with a team-high 26 points while Marcus Smart added a season-high 24 points but the visitors got little else from their top wings. Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum combined to shoot just 10-of-36 from the field, scoring just 29 points in the midst of Boston’s fifth game in seven nights.
Josh Richardson had a game-high 29 points for the hosts while Al Horford was big down the stretch with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Boston now is in the midst of its first three-game losing streak of the year and they will look to snap it at home on Saturday night against the Pelicans back at the TD Garden.