Kyrie Irving asked about the flat earth in London

Kyrie Irving asked about the flat earth in London

Boston received strong performances from a blend of star and role players.

The Celtics defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves at the O2 Arena in the preseason of their title-winning 2007-08 campaign, but star point guard Kyrie Irving - who contributed 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds against the Sixers - feels the reshuffled group must first discover their identity before considering a championship bid.

Philly had five players score in double figures, paced by J.J. Redick's 22 points, but it wasn't enough to top its Atlantic Division rival.

The Celtics ripped Philly, 108-97, on November 30 in Boston and toppled the Sixers in their arena, 102-92, back on October 20.

Silver spoke about this candidly, saying that the National Football League schedule, where teams play one game a week, would be more appropriate for overseas expansion. After one quarter, the Sixers had only turned the ball over twice.

The guard hit four three-pointers in the first half for 18 of his eventual 22 points. While Boston include Aron Baynes (Australia), Al Horford (Dominican Republic), Abdel Nader (Egypt), Daniel Theis (Germany) and Guerschon Yabusele (France) in their ranks. Brown was the man for the C's in the second, pacing the team with 10 points in the quarter.

All-in-all, Boston defense allowed over 98 points, their current opponent scoring average, in seven of the eleven games. Both teams were rather careless with the basketball in the first half, though, combining for 17 turnovers. It was Philadelphia's first loss, snapping a four-game winning streak, since December 28 against the Blazers, when the Sixers similarly blew a substantial lead and lost by four points. The Celtics went on a 21-11 run to start the second half and take their first lead of the game and never looked back. They outscored the Sixers 37-22 in the period, and 66-46 over the final 24 minutes of regulation.

Sixers coach Brett Brown called timeout just 39 seconds into the third as a Jayson Tatum three cut the lead to six.

That the Celtics won by double digits, after taking a 17-point lead during the fourth quarter, was pretty remarkable after all the odd stuff they did early.

Coming into this season, there was an overwhelming sense that the Western Conference was going to utterly demolish the Eastern Conference this season.

Irving returned early in the fourth and was fouled making a trademark driving layup and made the free throw to give the Celtics a 105-88 advantage midway through the quarter, all but ending the contest.

The court vision from Irving.

The Celtics will look to extend their winning streak when they return home to Boston and entertain the Pelicans on Tuesday. Tip-off from TD Garden is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

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