Derrick White, Jayson Tatum lead short-handed Celtics over 76ers in matchup of East leaders

Derrick White scored 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Boston Celtics to a 117-107 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night in a matchup of the early pacesetters in the Eastern Conference.

Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 29 points and Jrue Holiday added 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists for the Celtics (9-2), who were missing Jaylen Brown (non-COVID illness) and Kristaps Porzingis (right knee contusion).

Philadelphia (8-3), playing its second game in a back-to-back and third game in four nights, got 20 points apiece from Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. That total was well below the season scoring average for both.

Sam Hauser and Al Horford took the places of Brown and Porzingis in the starting lineup and had productive moments, with Horford scoring 14 points and providing a big block of a driving layup by Maxey that ended with White hitting a backbreaking 3-pointer with 4:47 left that extended the Celtics’ lead to seven points. Horford was 4 for 8 from beyond the 3-point line for a Celtics team that built its lead to 17 points at one point in the game.

The Sixers played most of the night with tired legs and struggled to adjust defensively as the Celtics whipped the ball around.

Embiid was a minus-25 in his 34 minutes on the floor. In the second half, Philadelphia’s high-powered offense was held to just 49 points.

The Celtics will face the Raptors on Friday in Toronto in an NBA In-Season Tournament game.

The 76ers travel to Atlanta for an NBA In-Season Tournament game against the Hawks.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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