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NBA London 2018 delivers after all the hype

The Boston Celtics rallied from 22 points down to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 114-103 at the O2 Arena.

It threatened to get ugly for Boston in the second quarter, with the Eastern Conference leaders looking well short of their usual rhythm. They scored only four points in the first 5:44 of the period, dropping into a 49-27 hole as Redick and Simmons paced the 76ers.

Brown stopped the rot for Boston with a three from the corner, turning to blow a kiss to the Philly bench as he skipped back, and it proved a turning point. Boston would not get level before the break, but it was the start of a 20-8 run that cut the deficit to 57-48 at half-time.

Boston have key veterans of their own – Irving, who arrived in a summer trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Al Horford – but they are every bit as young as Philadelphia, just ahead in their own process. It was Brown and stand-out rookie Jayson Tatum who did much of the work in the key third period, during which Boston outscored Philadelphia 37-22.

They continued to pull clear, with Marcus Smart’s three-pointer bringing up three figures with 7:01 left to play, making it a 69-31 Boston run in 21 minutes of action.

It got testy in the fourth quarter, with Boston’s Morris taking exception to a foul from Simmons to spark a brief melee, but the main battle of the night had already been settled in the Celtics’ favour.

Recap: NBA UK (Read in full via PA Sports)
Image: C.Cox

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