Celtics Set to Finish Season Sweep of 76ers in First TNT Game

celtics 76ers

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 5:56 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018 5:56 PM UTC

The first game of the TNT doubleheader on Thursday (7 p.m. ET) features the 76ers visiting the Celtics in their final meeting of the season – or is it? Boston looks for the sweep.

Philadelphia 76ers at Boston CelticsFree NBA Pick: CelticsBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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It’s an earlier than usual TNT doubleheader on Thursday with the 76ers and Celtics tipping off from TD Garden in Boston at 7 p.m. ET. The nightcap featuring the Wolves at Rockets tips at 9:30 p.m. ET and will be previewed by my SBR cohort Swinging Johnson.

This is the final meeting of the season between the 76ers and Celtics – although it might not be. Regular season, yes, with Boston going for the four-game sweep. However, it’s quite possible that these two meet in the first round of the playoffs. The Celtics seem nearly a lock to get the top seed in the East barring an injury to Kyrie Irving. Philadelphia is currently sitting ninth in the conference but right on No. 8 Detroit’s heels. If Joel Embiid can stay healthy, the Sixers should get a playoff spot.

Philly and Boston played in London last Thursday and the Celtics rallied from a 22-point deficit to win 114-103. The crucial quarter was the third, in which Boston outscored Philadelphia 37-22. Jaylen Brown had 21 points and was plus-34, while Irving had 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Embiid had 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists but was minus-17. Robert Covington had a terrible game with five points, four turnovers and a rating of minus-25.

All three Celtics wins this season against the 76ers have been by at least 10 points. Boston also has won seven straight at home in the series. The ‘over’ is 6-1 in those seven.

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London Hangover? Not For Philly

Boston and Philly had very different results in their first game after returning from London. The 76ers (20-20 SU, 22-17-1 ATS) were home on the MLK Day holiday Monday and upset the Toronto Raptors 117-111 but nearly blew a 21-point lead. Embiid dominated with 34 points and 11 rebounds. In his past 10, he’s putting up 23.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. Simmons chipped in 12 points and four assists but had six turnovers.

The team got some bad news from that one as starting two-guard J.J. Redick left with an ankle/leg injury in the third quarter and didn’t return. An MRI revealed a bone edema and a small cortical crack in the fibular head of his left leg. I don’t know what that means, but he won’t even be re-evaluated for 10 days to 2 weeks. Redick is averaging 17.3 points and is one of the better 3-point shooters in the NBA. T.J. McConnell should replace him. McConnell is a good passer (he’s a point guard) but not near the shooter Redick is. Or Coach Brett Brown could opt for Jerryd Bayless.

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The best of the @PelicansNBA/@Celtics OT thriller! pic.twitter.com/snA1N15Yc7

— NBA (@NBA) January 17, 2018
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The Celtics were home Tuesday to New Orleans and had their seven-game winning streak snapped 116-113 in overtime. Boston simply couldn’t stop Anthony Davis, who had 45 points and 16 rebounds. Guy’s a stud. Irving had 27 points and seven rebounds but only two assists and six turnovers in 41 minutes. He missed three shots in the final 3:26 of overtime.

The C’s relied way too much on the 3-pointer, attempting a whopping 50 of them, making 19. For the 18th time in a game this season, the Celtics fell behind by double digits as they were down 12 in the fourth before rallying and actually led by five late in regulation.

Boston has covered eight of its past nine after a loss, while Philadelphia oddly has failed to cover seven straight on Thursday. Celtics are the NBA pick to cover and finish the sweep. NOTE: Irving didn't practice on Wednesday with a sore shoulder so if he surprisingly sits out, take the 76ers.

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