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Jaylen Brown scores 31, Celtics pull away in fourth to beat 76ers 117-99

BOSTON (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 31 points and the Boston Celtics earned their ninth straight win, powering past the Philadelphia 76ers 117-99 on Tuesday night.

Jayson Tatum added 29 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter, to help the NBA-leading Celtics post their 25th consecutive home win over an Eastern Conference opponent.

Boston won despite connecting on just 5-of-22 3-pointers and committing 14 turnovers. But the Celtics outscored Philadelphia 64-48 in the second half and dominated with a 56-28 rebounding edge.

Tyrese Maxey led the 76ers with 32 points and five assists. Philadelphia has lost four of its last five and is just 4-8 since Joel Embiid was sidelined with a knee injury.

The 76ers cut what had been a 14-point deficit to 11 entering the fourth and made another surge to trim Boston’s lead to 91-89 with 8:49 to play.

The Celtics responded with 17 straight points, including eight from Tatum, to give themselves a 107-89 cushion with 4:31 remaining.

Boston took a 53-51 edge into halftime, keyed by Brown’s 18 points in the opening 24 minutes.

Derrick White had three blocks in first quarter, part of a defensive effort that limited the 76ers to 39% shooting in the half.

The 76ers have slowly been getting players back from injury since sputtering into the All-Star break by losing five out of seven games.

Nicolas Batum (hamstring), De’Anthony Melton (back) and Kyle Lowry (conditioning) all were in action but were on minutes restrictions.

It didn’t prevent Melton from exiting in the second half with back spasms. He went 0 for 2 from the field and registered a rebound and assist over nine minutes.

In Lowry’s case it was just his third appearance since being bought out by Charlotte and being signed by the 76ers on Feb. 13.

The extra bodies did give Philadelphia an energy boost early, as it jumped out to an 11-4 lead to open the game. But Boston quickly erased it, responding with an 11-0 run.

UP NEXT

76ers: Host Hornets on Friday.

Celtics: Host Mavericks on Friday.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba

Kyle Hightower, The Associated Press