Celtics vs. 76ers: Kyrie Irving Struggles, Joel Embiid Dismisses Rivalry With Boston

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The Celtics have Hayward and Irving back. "Just two good teams battling".

"This not a rivalry", Embiid said, per ESPN.

The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers played the first game of the National Basketball Association season, but the Golden State Warriors get to host the real opening ceremony. In the 18 games leading into this one, Philly shot 42.4 percent and averaged 97.9 points.

It didn't stop them from picking up their first victory on a night they celebrated the official return of their two biggest stars.

Including the playoffs, Boston has now won 10 straight games at home over Philadelphia, which it defeated in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season.

Simmons said the biggest difference between the Celtics and Sixers last season was playoff experience and now the Sixers have some.

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By half-time the Australian had almost notched a double-double - having stuffed the stats sheet to the tune of 10 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block. Worse, defensively, he found himself on the wrong end of switches several times on Tuesday. And last night the Celtics played it hard.

Imposing big man Joel Embiid stepped into his path, and as Brown elevated to dunk, Embiid managed to paw the ball with both hands.

"We played a lot of 1-on-1 and I was kicking his ass but you know I love him". What they have is playmakers, shot-takers. "We've missed more good ones in the preseason than we normally would based on all the numbers".

Fultz replaced J.J. Reddick in the starting lineup this season, and his performance against the Boston Celtics in the first game of the season suggests he isn't ready for the promotion.

And he set NBA Twitter ablaze with his phenomenal court coverage and vision - such as his second-quarter over-the-shoulder assist for fellow No.1 pick Markelle Fultz. Tatum had 23 points (9-for-17 shooting) and nine rebounds on Tuesday. He had the Sixers on their heels all game, allowing for pull-up jump shots literally wherever he wanted to take them. With JJ Redick now coming off the bench, expect the bench to come with a lot of firepower. Brown explained his reasoning before the game. So we're getting back to the fundamentals of how to guard and how we want to guard. "He could be captain of that challenge, that mindset". I try to coach him without the knowledge of his draft order. It's always been on defense, but even more now I feel like I've got to make sure that I'm there and active. That's how I'm approaching it.

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