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HomeNewsHow the Celtics Triumphed Over the 76ers Without Their Signature 3-Pointers

How the Celtics Triumphed Over the 76ers Without Their Signature 3-Pointers

In an impressive display of adaptability and skill, the Boston Celtics extended their winning streak to nine games with a 117-99 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers at the TD Garden, despite their 3-point shots not landing as expected. The game, played on a chilly Tuesday night, showcased the Celtics’ ability to diversify their strategy and dominate the game from inside the paint, a testament to their depth and versatility as a team.

The Celtics’ Unusual Victory

Typically known for their prowess from beyond the arc, the Celtics lead the NBA with an average of 42.6 3-point attempts per game. However, this particular game saw them making only five out of 22 attempts, a scenario that might have spelled disaster on any other night. But not this time. The team’s resilience and strategic pivot to focus on the paint paid off, especially against a 76ers team that was missing the formidable presence of Joel Embiid due to injury.

Dominance in the Paint

The Celtics’ strategy was clear: if the long-range shots weren’t falling, it was time to get up close and personal. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, alongside Kristaps Porzingis, took charge by relentlessly driving towards the hoop, contributing significantly to the team’s 64-42 advantage over the 76ers in the paint. This inside dominance was a key factor in their victory, proving that Boston is not just a one-trick pony but a well-rounded juggernaut capable of adjusting their game plan as needed.

A Historic Win

This game marked the first time since 2018 that the Celtics secured a win with five or fewer three-pointers. It was a display of versatility and an indicator of the team’s ability to win “a different way,” as coach Joe Mazzulla pointed out. The Celtics’ true shooting percentage of 64.8 for the game underscored their efficiency and ability to make the most of every possession, especially when their usual strategy was not as effective.

Key Performances

Jaylen Brown led the charge with a game-high 31 points, primarily earned through aggressive drives to the basket and efficient free-throw shooting. Brown’s approach of sometimes passing up open three-pointers in favor of generating opportunities in the paint showcased his tactical understanding and adaptability. Jayson Tatum also shone brightly, especially in the fourth quarter, putting up 29 points and sealing the deal for the Celtics. Kristaps Porzingis added a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds, emphasizing the Celtics’ multi-faceted attack.

What This Means for the Celtics

This victory is more than just another win; it’s a blueprint for success in scenarios where the 3-point shot isn’t available. It demonstrates the Celtics’ ability to adapt, overcome, and find alternative paths to victory. As the playoffs approach, this game will serve as a reminder of the importance of flexibility and the ability to exploit different aspects of the game, ensuring the Celtics remain formidable opponents under any circumstances.


The Boston Celtics’ win against the Philadelphia 76ers is a testament to their strategic depth and basketball intelligence. By turning a potential weakness into a strength, they not only secured a win but also sent a message to the rest of the league: they are a team capable of adapting and thriving, making them a tough contender for the NBA championship. As the season progresses, it will be interesting to see how this versatility plays into their championship aspirations.


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