Ben Simmons had 24 points, nine assists and eight rebounds to lead the host Philadelphia 76ers past the Boston Celtics 107-93 in the season opener for both teams on Wednesday.
Josh Richardson scored 17 points while Joel Embiid added 15 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots despite playing in foul trouble for much of the second half. Tobias Harris also recorded a double-double with 15 points and 15 rebounds and former Celtic Al Horford had 16 points.
Gordon Hayward paced the Celtics with 25 points while Jayson Tatum added 21 points and 10 rebounds. Enes Kanter and Kemba Walker each contributed 12. Walker, who made his debut with the Celtics after eight seasons with the Charlotte Hornets, shot just 4 of 18.
The Celtics shot only 7 of 26 from 3-point territory and 20-for-34 (58.8 percent) from the free-throw line.
The Sixers closed the second quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 49-48 lead into the locker room at halftime. Simmons led the Sixers with 12 points but overall they struggled with their 3-point shooting, going just 2 for 14.
Tatum paced the Celtics with 11 points in the first half. Boston also scuffled from beyond the arc, missing 12 of its 16 attempts.
Less than four minutes into the third, the Sixers extended their advantage to 62-50 after a short jumper by Harris.
The Celtics closed within five late in the third yet still trailed 77-68 at the end of the quarter. Tatum’s 17 points kept the Celtics within striking distance.
Boston scored the first five points of the fourth to get within 77-73 with 9:31 remaining.
Philadelphia responded with a pair of 3-pointers from Furkan Korkmaz and Harris to go back ahead by 10, 83-73.
Simmons then scored the next four points, the Celtics continued to misfire from the field and the Sixers’ lead was suddenly 87-73 with 7:04 left.
After the Celtics got within 92-81, Richardson came back with a three-point play for a 95-81 advantage with 4:36 remaining.
It was more than enough of a cushion to propel the Sixers to a victory.
—Field Level Media