The Boston Celtics bounced back and continued their regular season dominance over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday with a 112-109 win.
Both teams are expected to push deep into the Eastern Conference playoffs this season and their third meeting of the regular season didn't disappoint.
Playing without superstar point guard Kyrie Irving, the Celtics were able to pinch a win on the road and snap their two-game losing streak while making it 3-0 against the 76ers so far this season.
Al Horford did a bit of everything for the Celtics as he ended with a statline of 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals. He also sunk two clutch late free throws to push the Celtics' lead out.
But it was Gordon Hayward off the bench who provided the ultimate spark and showed just how vital he will be to Boston's chase for the championship. The guard ended with a game-high 26 points on 8-for-11 shooting, knocking down an electric 6-for-7 from beyond the arc.
Gordon Hayward was HOT from deep to help lead the @celtics to victory in Philly! 🔥- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 13, 2019
📊: 26 PTS | 6-7 3PM | 4 REB#CUsRise pic.twitter.com/CPr5vBtLUb
Jayson Tatum provided the biggest highlight of the game when he threw down a monster dunk over Ben Simmons.
😱 JAYSON. TATUM. 😱 pic.twitter.com/iSzw0hugY7- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) February 13, 2019
Philly's new-look starting five all delivered as each member of the group ended with double-figures in scoring.
Joel Embiid was at his dominant best with 23 points and 14 rebounds, but he'll rue a late layup with the Sixers down by three when he opted not to kick it out with the team out of timeouts.
With only 2.4 seconds left, Boston managed to get the ball in to Jayson Tatum, who knocked down the free throws to ice the game.
Jimmy Butler didn't get his final shot off as the buzzer sounded. The win leaves both teams with identical records of 36-21, but pushes Boston into the fourth spot.
Boston is back in action on Wednesday with clash against the Detroit Pistons, while the 76ers play their last game before the All-Star break against the Knicks.