Boston Celtics

Joel Embiid has strong words for refs after latest 76ers loss to Celtics

The NBA said Tuesday that Lakers president Magic Johnson had not violated any tampering rules after a back-and-forth on Monday over whether Los Angeles had reached out about Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons.

It was a final indignity -- one that will assuredly come with a fine from the league office sometime Wednesday -- on a night when Embiid finished with a gaudy stat line (23 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots in 37 minutes), but he and the Sixers once again found themselves on the losing end of a game against the Celtics.

Making matters worse for Philadelphia: Five of the past seven losses have come with Kyrie Irving sitting out after the All-Star guard sat Tuesday with a knee injury.

With the two teams tied for fourth place in the East with identical 36-21 records, the Celtics owning the tiebreaker could loom large down the road as they battle for playoff positioning.

"No," Sixers coach Brett Brown said when asked if he's worried about his players getting into their own heads about their repeated failures against the Celtics.

HorfordOthersPlays90120Points66129Pts/play0.731.08FGM2548FGA7092FG pct36%52%TO pct16%11%Pct blocked10%4%*This season and last postseason"Al's a smart defender," said Gordon Hayward , who had 26 points to lead all scorers off the bench for the Celtics, "so I think he's able to use spacing and angles and really kind of knows when to gap and when to get up to him.

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