It remains one of basketball's most intense rivalries and whenever the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers face each other, it usually results in a hard-fought battle.
Sunday, the teams squared off in the NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center and though Boston held a third-quarter double-digit lead, the Sixers cut into the deficit and pulled within two before ultimately falling to the Celtics, 85-76.
With Terry Rozier leading the way with 22 points and R.J. Hunter adding 21, Boston improved to 2-0. The Celtics placed four players in double figures. In addition to Rozier and Hunter, Jordan Mickey added 16 points and 11 rebounds and Jonathan Holmes had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The 76ers rested top draft pick Jahlil Okafor Sunday while the Celtics held out second-year players Marcus Smart and James Young. Smart got the day off while Young is nursing a hip injury.
The Celtics led by as many as 15 in the third quarter as Philadelphia had a tough time generating any consistent offense. Without Okafor, there was nobody to get the ball inside to and take some of the pressure off the perimeter shooting.
But the Sixers battled back and pulled within 70-68 with just under four minutes remaining after Pierre Jackson hit a 3-point field goal.
However, the Celtics answered with an 11-2 run to lead 81-70 with 28.9 seconds left.
Philadelphia (0-2), which was led by Scotty Wilbekin's 19 points and 13 from JaKarr Sampson, needed a little more offense. The Sixers have struggled to put points up on the board so far in the Summer League, scoring just 60 in their opening game Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers. And while 76 points is an improvement, the team obviously could have used a little more shooting.
Boston had 17 second-chance points as the Celtics out rebounded the 76ers 45-42. Arsalan Kazemi had 13 rebounds for Philadelphia.
The Celtics play again Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET vs. Miami at Cox Pavilion. The 76ers are back in action in the Summer League at 5:30 p.m. ET Tuesday against the New York Knicks in the Thomas & Mack.