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Pat Bev, Roco lead hell of an effort but Hospital Sixers come up just short vs. Celtics

Patrick Beverley and Robert Covington had their best games as Sixers, but it wasn’t quite enough as they fell to the Celtics in Boston Friday.

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Isn’t it wild they lost the Pat Bev game?

The Sixers went up to Boston without Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey or Nico Batum and fell 125-119 to the Celtics Friday night.

The game’s high man was Patrick Beverley, who put up 26 points, shooting 10-of-15 from the floor and pulled down eight rebounds and seven assists.

Robert Covington gave the Sixers a season-high 18 points as well as five steals, but De’Anthony Melton fouling out and Tobias Harris going cold were too much to overcome.

Here are some thoughts at the buzzer.

First Quarter

  • Neither team struggled to put the ball in the basket at the start of this one. The hospital Sixers made eight of their first 11 field goals of the game. Running the show, Beverley had nine first-quarter points. His jump shots have certainly looked to have more legs under them the past week or so.
  • Robert Covington was the game’s lone source of defense in the opening quarter. He got himself on the board with three Covington-esque steals. He made his first couple threes of the game, making it six straight going back to Wednesday night in New Orleans.
  • Unfortunately for the Sixers, Boston came out of the gate shooting even hotter. They were a scalding 8-of-11 from downtown in the first, good enough to hold an eight-point lead despite a 36-point quarter from Philly.

Second Quarter

  • Mo Bamba’s minutes in the first half weren’t disastrous, which is probably the first time that’s been the case as a Sixer. He fought his way into a couple of offensive rebounds and blocked a shot in six minutes of action.
  • The Sixers didn’t take advantage of the 12 first half Boston turnovers as much as you would expect. The fast-break points in the half were actually a Celtics 16-13 advantage. The Sixers did however generate constant rim pressure throughout the quarter, having a 10-point advantage in points in the paint at the half. Paul Reed and Harris led the charge here, combining to shoot 9-of-11 in the half.
  • Making over half of your three-pointers will certainly help generate rim pressure. The Sixers shot 52% from deep in the half to match 54% from Boston. It was a corner three from Morris that gave Philly a three-point lead at the break.

Third Quarter

  • The Celtics would clamp up on defense coming out of the half, making it significantly harder for Philly to drive into the paint. The Sixers opened the quarter shooting 3-of-12 which allowed Boston to re-take the lead.
  • Naturally it was Bamba who kept the Sixers afloat in the quarter. They really got none of the dribble-penetration they were able to in the first half, though the Celtics’ offense hit a bit of a wall as well. All Bamba had to do was pop behind a couple of screens and knock down a couple of threes to keep themselves in it.
  • It was certainly an interesting final seconds of the quarter. Tatum got called for an offensive foul trying to get by Covington, and was so displeased that he was called for a technical and was subsequently ejected. After the play was upgraded to a flagrant, the trip to the free throw line for Covington ended up giving the Sixers a two-point lead with one quarter to go and no Tatum for the rest of the game. It does feel like referees have a quicker trigger than ever to eject players, stars or not, and that is a shame.

Fourth Quarter

  • The first half appeared to be a bounce-back game for Harris, but he would slide back down to earth late. He had two turnovers and shot 0-of-5 in the final quarter, including getting stuffed on two consecutive dunk attempts by Al Horford.
  • When the final injury report came in tonight, De’Anthony Melton fouling out probably wasn’t that high on the priority list. He fouled out with 5:08 remaining, a tough loss for the shorthanded squad. Melton finished with 21 points, shooting 7-of-19 from the field and 4-of-12 from three, as well as two stocks.
  • KJ Martin was one of the most buried players on any NBA bench a week or two ago. Tonight he was on the floor with less than two minutes left in a single-possession game in Boston. Injuries and illnesses suck, but depleted roster games are always so much fun.
  • In the end, Beverley was not able to go basket-for-basket with the Celtics, as hard as he tried. But it was still quite the offensive performance from a guy who was getting compared to P.J. Tucker last week.
  • As they didn’t make the next round of the In-Season Tournament, the Sixers will have time off. They’ll have four days off before heading down to Washington to take on the Wizards next Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.

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