PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Isaiah Thomas led six Celtics players in double figures with 26 points to help Boston snap a four-game skid with a 120-105 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night.
Jared Sullinger added 17 points and 13 rebounds for Boston, which swept the four-game season series against the 76ers to make it eight consecutive wins against Philadelphia. The Celtics avoided matching their longest losing streak of the season with the victory.
Carl Landry scored 26 points for the 76ers, who have lost five in a row and 18 of the last 19 to fall to 9-61.
The possibility of Philadelphia matching the 1972-73 76ers for the worst record over an 82-game schedule is growing. Eight of Philadelphia’s 12 remaining games are against clubs who began Sunday with winning records. Seven of the 12 contests are on the road.
Their best chance for a victory may be during a four-game homestand April 2-10 that includes games against New Orleans, the Knicks and Milwaukee – all of which had losing records entering Sunday. Of the remaining opponents, the 76ers have defeated only Portland. Philadelphia routed the Trail Blazers 114-89 on Jan. 16 at home, a defeat they will try to avenge Saturday night in Portland.
The 76ers’ chances of beating the Celtics took a hit in the first quarter when they missed 17 straight shots on their way to a 28-16 first-quarter deficit.
Philadelphia managed to hang around for much of the third quarter, twice cutting the Celtics’ lead to six points. The final time came with 2.4 seconds left in the period on T.J. McConnell’s short, baseline jumper that made it 85-79. But Thomas raced the ball up the court and drained a 3-pointer as time expired to give Boston an 88-79 advantage entering the fourth quarter.
The 76ers got as close as four points in the final period on Landry’s dunk with 9:20 left that made it 91-87, but they wouldn’t get any closer. Philadelphia wasn’t helped by top big man Nerlens Noel fouling out with 4:49 remaining. Noel finished with four points, eight rebounds and five assists and was 2 for 8 from the field and 0 for 4 from the free-throw line.
Celtics: A large contingent of Celtics fans was scattered throughout the Wells Fargo Center crowd of 15,103. … Boston also defeated the 76ers 112-92 on Jan. 24 in Philadelphia and twice in Boston, 84-80 on Nov. 26 and 112-95 on Oct. 28.
76ers: C Jahlil Okafor will have season-ending knee surgery on Monday. The rookie has missed the last 11 games. … C Joel Embiid returned to Qatar for treatment on his ankle. … Forwards Robert Covington (concussion) and Richaun Holmes (Achilles) each missed their fourth consecutive game. … Philadelphia opens a four-game road trip Monday night in Indiana.
Celtics: Host Orlando Monday night.
76ers: At Indiana Monday night.