10/24/2019 By RJ Curreri
The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Boston Celtics 107-93 last night in the season opener for both teams. The start of what fans are hoping to be an improvement from last season, the Celtics’ first performance came off as very flat. The C’s shot a meager 36.7% from the field and went 20/34 on free throw attempts.
Newcomers Kemba Walker and Enes Kanter both chipped in 12 points respectively but failed to make a big enough impact in their debuts. Gordon Hayward, in his second season following a brutal leg-injury, led the team in scoring with 25 and was one of the only positive takeaways from the night. The other positive takeaway was Jayson Tatum’s performance as he logged 21 points and 10 rebounds. As for the recently extended Jaylen Brown, he contributed only 8 points, finding himself in foul-trouble early on.
The big story going into this matchup was the first meeting between the Celtics and their former All-Star bigman Al Horford, who signed a $109 million contract with the Sixers in the off-season. Horford, who rang the ceremonial pregame bell, described his first game against his former team as “very weird” but still managed to make his presence felt for both sides. The 33 year-old finished with 16 points and contributed to the Sixers out-rebounding the Celtics by 21. The team struggled to defend the paint for most of the game, allowing Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid to attack the basket with ease, combining for 39 of the Sixers’ points.
The Celtics have a chance to make a better impression tonight in their home-opener against the defending-champion Toronto Raptors, who are coming off a 130-122 win over the Pelicans.