Celtics-76ers takeaways: Turnovers, brutal first quarter cost C’s originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
A nightmare first quarter set the tone for what would end up being one of the sloppier games the C’s have played all season. Carelessness with the basketball and lackluster performances from All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown ultimately led to Boston’s demise.
Brown led the C’s with 21 points while Tatum tallied 20 and Payton Pritchard contributed 17 off the bench. Joel Embiid had a game-high 25 points for the Sixers to go along with 13 rebounds. Tyrese Maxey added 23 points of his own.
Here are three instant takeaways from the Celtics’ loss, which brings them to 21-22 on the season.
Doomed from the start
The first half of Friday’s game, particularly the first quarter, was the Celtics’ worst basketball of the season.
Philadelphia went on a 28-2 run in the first quarter and entered the second with a 32-14 lead. The Celtics shot 12-for-39 from the field as a team, resulting in their lowest-scoring half (35 points) of the campaign thus far.
Boston also had a whopping 11 turnovers in the first half, matching its total from Wednesday’s win.
The Celtics are now 0-11 this season when they’ve trailed by 15 or more points. This was the first game the C’s have trailed by 20 since Dec. 17 vs. Golden State.
Turnovers prove costly
The Celtics have struggled with turnovers in a number of games this season and Friday’s loss was no exception. After that 11-turnover first half, Boston finished with 20 on the night.
That proved to be the difference-maker as the 76ers turned the ball over only nine times in their victory. They scored 31 points off the Celtics’ 20 turnovers.
This was Boston’s fifth game with 20 or more turnovers this season.
Tatum and Brown were the primary culprits in the turnover category. They combined for 12 of them as Tatum had seven and Brown was responsible for five.
Tough night for the Jays
After shining as a duo in Wednesday’s win over the Indiana Pacers, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown couldn’t find their groove in Philly until it was too late.
In addition to those aforementioned turnover woes, the Jays combined for only 12 points on 4-of-20 shooting (2-of-12 from 3) in that abysmal first half. They picked it up a bit in the second half but by that point, it was all for naught. They ended up shooting a combined 14-for-35 from the field and 4-for-16 from long range.
Tatum and Brown weren’t the only ones to have an off night after a strong showing vs. Indiana. This wasn’t Dennis Schroder’s night, either. The Celtics point guard had only one point as he went 0-for-6 shooting with two turnovers. He also was given a flagrant foul on this scary play:
It won’t get any easier for the C’s as they’ll host the Eastern Conference-leading Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. Tip-off for that matchup is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.