This is the Celtics' second home win over Philadelphia, as they also beat them, 105-87, in the season opener back in October. Irving came up clutch when it counted most, including a three-pointer to tie the game last in the fourth quarter and force overtime. Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris had 23 points apiece, while Terry Rozier had 10 for the Celtics, who now have a good hold on the five seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Sixers were led by Joel Embiid's 34 points, and he went a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line. Jimmy Butler finished with 24 points, while Ben Simmons fell short of a triple-double with 11 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists. The Sixers are now just 6-10 away from home, but their dominance on their home floor still has them in the four seed of the East.
Simmons hit two free throws in overtime that gave Philly a 114-112 lead, but they would not score again, allowing Boston to end the game on a 9-0 run. The Sixers overcame a halftime deficit in the third quarter with a 15-2 run, which allowed them to outscore Boston, 38-29, in those 12 minutes. The Celtics did enough to force extra time on Christmas at the TD Garden, which led to their 11th win on their home floor, and 20th victory of the season.
The Celtics will stay on national t.v. on Thursday night when they visit the Houston Rockets, while the Sixers head out west to battle the Utah Jazz, who beat the Portland Trail Blazers late Christmas night.