The Boston Celtics shrugged off the absence of Kristaps Porzingis and Jaylen Brown to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers and claim first place in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday.
Jayson Tatum led Boston’s scoring with 29 points while Derrick White scored 27 to give Boston a 117-107 road victory in Philadelphia.
The win moved Boston into first place in the Eastern Conference standings with a 9-2 record, with the Sixers falling to 8-3 in second place.
“Top to bottom, we have a lot of guys that can do a lot of good things,” said White, who scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Celtics to victory.
“I’ve been pretty bad the last couple games, I just wanted to go out there and compete, do what I do and make some shots,” White said.
An entertaining clash at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia saw the lead change hands 11 times, with Boston taking a 17-point lead early in the second quarter.
The Sixers responded, however, to finish the first half strong, taking a 58-57 lead into the break.
But Boston fought back in the third period to outscore Philly 26-17 and take what proved to be a commanding eight-point lead into the fourth quarter.
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In Wednesday’s other games, Damian Lillard dropped 37 points with 13 assists and four rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Toronto Raptors 128-112 on the road.
The victory marked a triumphant return to Toronto for Bucks coach Adrian Griffin, the former Raptors assistant coach who joined Milwaukee in May following the firing of Mike Budenholzer.
Milwaukee, without the injured Giannis Antetokounmpo, controlled the game after taking the lead early in the first quarter, leading by as many as 33 points at one point in the third quarter.
Lillard was supported with 30 points by Malik Beasley, who made eight three-pointers. Bobby Portis added 18 off the bench and Khris Middleton 11 as the Bucks improved to 7-4 for the season.
Scottie Barnes led Toronto’s scorers with 29 points.
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Elsewhere on Wednesday, Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 31 points and Luka Doncic’s 26 points helped the Dallas Mavericks complete a 130-117 road rout of the Washington Wizards.
In Chicago, Paolo Banchero’s final jump shot with one second left helped the Orlando Magic earn a thrilling 96-94 victory over the Bulls.
Chicago appeared to have done enough to force overtime after a brilliant three-pointer from Zach Lavine tied it at 94-94 with eight seconds left.
But Banchero coolly drove to the basket on Orlando’s final possession, spinning to shoot for the deciding basket.
Banchero finished with 17 points on 4-of-12 shooting in a low-scoring game. LaVine led Chicago with 19 points.