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NBA Preview: Boston Celtics (43-17) at Philadelphia Sixers (39-19)

Joel Embiid demonstrated that he can have a significant impact on a game even when he is not 100% healthy.

In a stirring 110-105 come-from-behind victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday, Embiid once again demonstrated why he is a legitimate Most Valuable Player candidate, despite missing the morning shootaround with a non-COVID illness and left foot soreness.

When the Sixers take on the Boston Celtics on Saturday night, they will now turn to Embiid to lead them to their sixth win in a row.

On Thursday, Embiid had 27 points, 19 rebounds, six assists, and six blocked shots despite shooting 7 of 25 from the field.

The Sixers overcame a 17-point deficit against one of the best teams in the league with 31 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists from James Harden.

With 39.1 seconds remaining, the Sixers took a 106-105 lead thanks to Tobias Harris’s 3-pointer.

As the schedule continues to be challenging, the Sixers will require last-minute shots from their star players.

When the Celtics take on the Sixers, they will be aiming for their third victory in a row.

In overtime on Thursday, Boston prevailed 142-138 over the host Indiana Pacers.

Jayson Tatum had 31 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists for the Celtics, while Jaylen Brown had 30 points and 11 rebounds.

Brown wore a new mask while he played to protect the fracture to his face that he suffered on February 8 when he accidentally hit Tatum during Boston’s 106-99 victory over the visiting 76ers.

In their first game since the All-Star break, the Celtics’ victory was somewhat stressful. Brown and Tatum had to play for longer periods of time.

Boston defeated his former team, and Malcolm Brogdon came off the bench to score 24 points for the Celtics, who went on to win the league by a record of 43-17.

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