The NBA season is here! What better way to get back to the action than with a rematch of one of last year's most entertaining playoff series?
160 days after being eliminated by the Celtics in Game 5 of the 2018 Eastern Conference semifinals, the Sixers returned to TD Garden with redemption on their minds, but things didn't quite go according to plan.
Things were all tied after one but Boston took a five-point lead into the half behind 13 points from Jayson Tatum while Kyrie Irving failed to get on the board. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid stood out for the Sixers through the first two quarters, but 11 first-half turnovers from Philly led to 10 points from Boston.
The second-half is where the Celtics began to pull away, building and maintaining a double-digit lead throughout the majority of the third quarter. Boston entered the fourth quarter up by 11 points and never really looked back.
Jayson Tatum finished with a team-high 23 points and was one of five Celtics (Marcus Morris, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward) to finish in double figures. Kyrie Irving struggled throughout the night, finishing with seven points on 2-for-14 shooting. Al Horford made his presence felt, scoring nine points and blocking five shots.
Joel Embiid's 23 points led the way for Philadelphia while Ben Simmons filled the stat sheet with 19 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists and four steals. JJ Redick was the only other Sixer to score in double digits, finishing with 16 points on the night.
If you missed any of the action, check below from the best highlights from the night.
76ers vs. Celtics: Scores, highlights, updates
All times Eastern.
Box Score | Play-by-play
Final: Celtics 105, 76ers 87
10:24 p.m. - We've got a final in Boston.
The @celtics get the 1st W of the 2018-19 NBA season! #CUsRise 105 | #HereTheyCome 87- NBA (@NBA) October 17, 2018
Jayson Tatum: 23 PTS, 9 REB
Marcus Morris: 16 PTS, 10 REB
Gordon Hayward: 10 PTS, 5 REB
Ben Simmons: 19 PTS, 15 REB, 8 AST, 4 STL
Joel Embiid: 23 PTS, 10 REB, 2 BLK#KiaTipOff18 pic.twitter.com/CYRbPLXxTl
10:18 p.m. - Gordon Hayward gets into double figures with a corner 3-pointer which puts Boston up by 16 with 1:40 remaining.
Gordon Hayward buries it from downtown! #CUsRise #KiaTipOff18 pic.twitter.com/iX5J61iEsK- NBA (@NBA) October 17, 2018
10:14 p.m. - Terry Rozier sinks a 3-pointer to put the Celtics up 99-85 with under three minutes remaining. That one will probably put the game away for good.
10:12 p.m. - Two free throws from Joel Embiid cut the deficit to single digits but not for long.
Jayson Tatum responds with a jumper off the glass to put Boston back up by 11,
The staredown 👀- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 17, 2018
Jayson Tatum is FEELING it! #CUsRise pic.twitter.com/pJVCaUr35A
10:05 p.m. - Jaylen Brown electrifies the crowd with a STRONG finish in transition!
JAYLEN. BROWN. pic.twitter.com/RrfZXoV2H6- Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 17, 2018
9:57 p.m. - Great ball movement results in Kyrie Irving's second bucket of the night, giving the Celtics a 87-70 lead three minutes into the fourth quarter.
The vision from @aronbaynes! 👀#CUsRise pic.twitter.com/UWKQkugzZh- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 17, 2018
End of third quarter: Celtics 77, 76ers 66
9:45 p.m. - Boston outscores Philadelphia 13-7 to build another double-digit lead to take into the final frame. Jayson Tatum still leads all scorers with 20 points while Kyrie Irving (1-for-11) still struggles.
Ben Simmons is on triple-double watch - the 2018 Rookie of the Year now has 12 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.
20 PTS, 8 REB for Jayson Tatum & we're headed to the 4th in Boston!#CUsRise 77 | #HereTheyCome 66- NBA (@NBA) October 17, 2018
Marcus Morris: 13 PTS, 9 REB
Joel Embiid: 16 PTS, 7 REB, 2 BLK
Ben Simmons: 12 PTS, 13 REB, 7 AST#KiaTipOff18 on @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/o6V5i3CpYz
9:36 p.m. - Jayson Tatum responds with a big and-one finish transition. He's up to 20 points on the night.
Jayson Tatum is DIFFERENT. ☘️#CUsRise pic.twitter.com/XQVK0PgKZX- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 17, 2018
9:30 p.m. - Philly uses a 12-3 run to inch back closer but Boston still leads 64-59.
9:27 p.m. - Hello Jayson Tatum.
A big dunk from the Celtics' second-year forward makes it 61-47 less than four minutes into the half. Brett Brown calls for time again.
Tatum gets to the rim and shows no mercy 💥 pic.twitter.com/F0HajxHcBP- Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 17, 2018
9:21 p.m. - Boom. An Aron Baynes 3-pointer makes it a 9-3 run for the Celtics to start the half. Brett Brown calls for time as the Sixers now trail by 11.
Aron Baynes steps outside for 3!#CUsRise 56 | #HereTheyCome 45#KiaTipOff18 @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/XKtxGD8Tt6- NBA (@NBA) October 17, 2018
9:19 p.m. - Gordon Hayward's minute restriction means Aron Baynes is starting the second half in his place. Baynes wasted no time making his presence felt early in the third.
Big to big passing from Horford to Baynes!@celtics/@sixers 2nd half is underway on @NBAonTNT #KiaTipOff18 pic.twitter.com/3MSrO8GU83- NBA (@NBA) October 17, 2018
Halftime: Celtics 47, 76ers 42
9:05 p.m. - How about some Ben Simmons halftime highlights?
Ben Simmons gets out to 10 PTS, 9 REB, 5 AST in the 1st half for the @sixers! #KiaTipOff18 #HereTheyCome pic.twitter.com/7BbVNJrS2o- NBA (@NBA) October 17, 2018
8:59 p.m. - One half is in the books in Boston, and the Celtics lead 47-42 behind 13 points from Jayson Tatum. It's been a rough first half for Kyrie Irving, who is 0-for-8 from the field and has yet to score.
The duo of Ben Simmons (10 points, nine rebounds, five assists) and Joel Embiid (11 points, five rebounds) has kept things close for Philly.
Ben Simmons & Jayson Tatum were making plays in the 1st half! @celtics 47 | @sixers 42- NBA (@NBA) October 17, 2018
Tatum: 13 PTS, 4 REB
Simmons: 10 PTS, 9 REB, 5 AST
Embiid: 11 PTS, 5 REB#KiaTipOff18 on @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/L5dIiqDnW1
8:52 p.m. - Ben Simmons gets the fourth of his five assists in style. He's got 10 points and nine rebounds to go along with them but the Sixers trail by three with 2:00 left in the half.
Ben Simmons DIME ➡️ Markelle Fultz finish! 👀#HereTheyCome #KiaTipOff18- NBA (@NBA) October 17, 2018
📺: @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/gTnOJLaR63
8:47 p.m. - We've reached another break in the action and the Celtics lead the Sixers 32-28 with 6:37 left in the half. Tatum's got his game-high total up to 11 points while Joel Embiid leads the Sixers with nine.
Turnovers have been the story so far as Philadelphia has committed nine to Boston's four.
8:42 p.m. - Terry Rozier with the BIG TIME rejection.
Terry Rozier comes across for the powerful SWAT! #CUsRise #KiaTipOff18- NBA (@NBA) October 17, 2018
📺: @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/J4CJjchA4p
8:36 p.m. - Gordon Hayward starts the quarter with back-to-back buckets to get on the board. A subsequent 3-pointer from Marcus Smart makes it a 7-0 run for Boston, who leads 28-21 85 seconds into the second. Timeout Sixers.
Gordon Hayward hits jumpers on consecutive possessions to get back in the box score! #KiaTipOff18- NBA (@NBA) October 17, 2018
📺: @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/etx0TaXIGh
End of first quarter: 76ers 21, Celtics 21
8:31 p.m. - Philadelphia closes the quarter on a 7-0 run to tie things up at the end of one. Jayson Tatum leads all scorers with nine points, while Ben Simmons filled the stat sheet with five points, six rebounds and three assists.
Ben Simmons takes it coast-to-coast! #KiaTipOff18- NBA (@NBA) October 17, 2018
5 PTS, 3 AST, 6 REB for Ben in the 1st quarter.
WATCH on @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/d8hbt5f2Gm
8:23 p.m. - Timeout on the floor after a Terry Rozier finish off of a Jaylen Brown lob caps a 17-6 run, thanks to a. Boston leads 21-14 late in the first.
Jaylen Brown sets up Terry Rozier in transition! #KiaTipOff18 @celtics 21 | @sixers 14 in Q1.- NBA (@NBA) October 17, 2018
📺: @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/JdnmNbQID1
8:10 p.m. - After a bit of a sloppy start, the Sixers take a one-point lead into the first break in action. It's 8-7 with 6:51 remaining in the first.
8:03 p.m. - Things are underway in Boston and the 2018-19 NBA season has officially begun and Joel Embiid scores the first points of the season.
Joel Embiid scores the first basket of the 2018-19 NBA season! #KiaTipOff18- NBA (@NBA) October 17, 2018
WATCH on @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/j5ldRS7Znk
7:55 p.m. - 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz will make his first-career start for the Sixers alongside Ben Simmons, Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid.
Tonight's Starting 5- Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) October 16, 2018
presented by @DraftKings pic.twitter.com/TIKUBDpnFN
7:20 p.m. - Nearly one year to the date of suffering a devastating injury, Celtics forward Gordon Hayward warms up ahead of his return.
Back in the line-up for @celtics, @gordonhayward gets loose for #KiaTipOff18! pic.twitter.com/oKa1xS4opR- NBA (@NBA) October 16, 2018
6:15 p.m. - It's now confirmed: Boston will go with the much-anticipated lineup of Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford to start.
Brad Stevens confirms tonight's starters: Irving, Brown, Hayward, Tatum, Horford. #CUsRise- Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 16, 2018