Boston Celtics claim victory in heated NBA London match-up

Kyrie Irving NBA London

The Boston Celtics claimed NBA London 2018 honours at The O2 Arena, as they fired their way to a 114-103 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Whilst fans were clearly backing the ‘away’ team of the fixture, Philadelphia were the team who started the stronger of the sides, quickly bursting out to a double digit lead.

J.J. Redick was the main protagonist for the Sixers, striking from long range numerous times to rack up 18 points in the opening half.

However, the second quarter saw the Celtics begin to fight back, behind an improved defense, the lead was quickly trimmed down.

Ben Simmons was showing his offensive abilities through the game, punishing the Celtics defense when given the opportunity with his size and speed.

A duo of Kyrie Irving triples helped lead Boston back within touching distance, before his Australian opponent Ben Simmons responded with a powerful dunk, following up with a confrontational shunt for good measure.

The Celtics clawed their way back in front mid-way through the third, their comeback headlined by a Daniel Theis dunk and a Jaylen Brown and-one lay-up.

In an effort to stop the bleeding, Joel Embiid crushed home an alley-oop dunk, but with Boston in resurgent form they ended the quarter ahead 85-79.

Boston started the fourth as they ended the third, and stretched their lead to nine with less than ten minutes remaining.

That lead was stretched further and further through the final period, with an offensive barrage sealing the win for Boston, depsite a spirited effort from the home-side Sixers.

The fight wasn’t completely out of the game late on though, with Ben Simmons mixing up with Marcus Morris with a hard screen resulting in some on-court beef resulting in a technical foul issued to Morris and Redick.

Both sides played out the final minutes without fanfare, with the game ending 114-103.

Kyrie Irving, as expected, was the man earning most of the applause with his 20 point effort often assisted by the Celtics-friendly crowd.

Marcus Morris ably assisted the former Cleveland guard with 19 of his own, with Jaylen Brown and Al Horford also playing their parts.

The win keeps Boston top of the Eastern Conference standings, whilst Philadelphia drop under .500 with a 19-20 record.

Luke Hatfield is the creator and editor of BouncyOrangeBall, with an extensive knowledge of the NBA and basketball in general.

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