NBA Game Preview: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics

Feb 8, 2023

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Game: Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Odds: Sixers +4.5, Celtics -4.5

Total: 228

The Philadelphia 76ers head to Boston tonight with a chance to close the gap on the Celtics in the Eastern Conference standings. Boston, of course, sits at the top of the standings. The Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons 111-99 on Monday night to keep sole possession of first place in the East. The Milwaukee Bucks are one game behind the Celtics, while Philadelphia, who is alone in third place, is three games behind them.

Sunday saw the end of Philadelphia’s eight-game home winning streak as the New York Knicks overcame a 21-point hole early on to win 108-97. For the 76ers in the defeat, Joel Embiid scored 31 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. The NBA’s leading scorer hit 18 of his 19 free-throw attempts.

Philadelphia has won nine of its last 11 games. Interestingly, their two losses during that span were eerily similar. On January 30, the Sixers lost to Orlando 119-109 after giving up another 21-point lead.

On Sunday, the Knicks were down by 21 after the first quarter, but they were only down by two at the half, 53-51. In the fourth quarter, the 76ers led 79-76. In each game, it was the bench that had something to do with losing the big leads.

In Monday’s victory over Detroit, Boston was missing Jaylen Brown (sickness), Marcus Smart (ankle), and Luke Kornet (ankle). In that win, Boston’s Jayson Tatum scored 18 of his game-high 34 points in the third quarter, enabling the Celtics to increase their lead from seven points at halftime to 18 points after three periods.

Brown, who is averaging 27.0 points per game this season, was replaced by Sam Hauser, who started for the first time in his NBA career. Hauser made five 3-pointers in the first half to account for all 15 of his points.

Boston defeated Philadelphia at home 126-117 to start the season. In that game, Tatum and Brown each scored 35 points. For Philadelphia, James Harden scored 25 points in the loss, hitting five three-pointers. Tyrese Maxey added 21 points, while Joel Embiid contributed 21 points and 15 rebounds for the 76ers.

Before the win over Detroit on Monday, Boston had lost four of its previous six contests. Over their last nine games, the Celtics are just 2-7 ATS. Boston is, however, 12-4 SU over its last 16 and has won nine of its last 11 games at home. The Celtics are also 16-4 SU in their last 20 games against Philadelphia played at TD Garden.

The Sixers are one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now. They have won nine of their last 11 games. Philly is 8-1 SU in its last nine games on the road. The Sixers are 6-3 ATS in their last nine games and 7-2 ATS in their last nine games against Boston.

The total has gone Over in 12 of Philadelphia’s last 17 games. For Boston, the Under has hit in eight of its last 12 games.

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