By Jerry Wein
If nothing else, last night’s blowout loss at home to the Celtics proved one thing:
Big boss Daryl Morey’s work isn’t done.
He will have to add some snipers to go along with James harden and Joel Embiid.
Brown scored 26 of his 29 points in the first half and the Boston Celtics won their ninth in a row, dominating the Sixers 135-87.
And the Sixers shot only 28.7% from the field.
The margin was the largest by the Celtics over the Sixers in a rivalry that has been played 457 times. Boston’s previous biggest win was a 124-87 drubbing of Philadelphia on Dec. 20, 1987.
Joel Embiid had 19 points and nine rebounds for the 76ers. The NBA’s leading scorer entering the contest averaging 29.5 points, Embiid had his string of games with at least 25 points end at 31 in a row.
In their franchise history, the 76ers have had only six losses by greater margins than the 48-point blowout.
“They were better in every way: coaching, playing and if there’s another category, they were better in that, too,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said.
James Harden made his first appearance in Philadelphia — but in street clothes. The recently acquired star continues to recover from a hamstring injury. Harden is expected to make his 76ers debut on Feb. 25 at Minnesota.
Earlier Tuesday, Philadelphia introduced Harden at a press conference at the team’s training center in Camden, New Jersey, following last week’s blockbuster trade that sent disgruntled guard Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets. Harden drew a loud ovation when he came onto the court unannounced during pregame warmups, and the arena erupted when he rang the ceremonial Liberty Bell prior to the home introductions.
The 76ers sure could’ve used the 10-time All-Star, three-time scoring champ and former MVP during the game. His first in-person look at his new teammates came in their worst game of the season.
Boston torched Philadelphia in the opening 24 minutes, building a 27-point halftime lead. It got even worse for Philadelphia in the second half.
“We’ve just been playing better overall, clicking better as a unit,” Tatum said. “We just had to be ready from the jump.”
The Celtics did little wrong to start while making 22 of 39 first-half shots and silencing the previously frenzied crowd. Brown made all five of his 3-point attempts and Tatum added 16 at the break.
The 76ers got a little life on Embiid’s jumper that pulled them within 58-41 with 2:26 left before halftime, resulting in a Celtics timeout and Harden — dressed in cut-up jeans and a long pink blazer with yellow sleeves — raising both arms to implore the crowd to get loud.
But Boston closed the half by scoring 11 of the final 12 points, capped by Brown’s 3-pointer at the buzzer that had him dancing back to the locker room and the Celtics ahead 69-42.
The Celtics led by as many as 51 in a second half that featured booing from the dissatisfied home fans.