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Jayson Tatum leads way as Celtics edge the 76ers

Jayson Tatum poured in 26 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a narrow 88-87 victory over Atlantic Division rivals Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

It was the first meeting between the two Eastern Conference foes and defense ruled the day with neither side able to surpass 42% from the field.

Tatum Hitting Stride

Despite the lack of offensive spark, Tatum was an outlier with his 26 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, including 11 points in the fourth quarter. For the 23-year-old forward, it was his seventh 20-point, 10-rebound game of the season.

Dennis Schröder also chipped in with 13 points and three assists, while Al Horford and Robert Williams III each had 10 points.

It was close throughout, including at halftime with the Celtics holding a 44-40 lead, despite 14 points on 6-7 shooting, including 2-3 from 3-pointers, from Philadelphia's Shake Milton.

The teams traded leads during the third and fourth periods, but in the end the defensive stops from the home team proved decisive.

Embiid Disappoints

Of note was the defensive job of Horford, who played a big part in limiting Philadelphia big man Joel Embiid to just 13 points on 3-17 shooting.

In spite of their offensive struggles, the 76ers still had a chance to win the game with the ball and six seconds to go, but Doc Rivers' team was unable to get a shot off before the final buzzer.

Seth Curry would finish as the leading scorer for the 76ers with 17 points and six assists, while Milton closed with 16 points.

The Celtics now have a modest two-game winning streak and improve to 12-10 overall, good for ninth in the Eastern Conference, while Philadelphia have tasted defeat in three of their last four contests and slumped to an 11-11 overall record, leaving the 76ers 11th in the conference standings.

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