One ended in a staredown from Boston's Jaylen Brown after a pseudo-dunk (it rattled off the backboard and through the rim), and the other got a similar staredown from Embiid's friend and summer workout partner Jayson Tatum after he knocked down a jumper (another bank shot) in Embiid's face.
Tatum had 13 points in the first half for the Celtics, who took advantage of injuries last season to have a stellar rookie National Basketball Association campaign. Although the 76ers cut the deficit to five again (66-61), Boston brought the lead back to double digits and never looked back (89-72).
At Boston, Gordon Hayward contributed 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting with four steals in his return after breaking his left leg in last year's season opener. Al Horford is not Boston's best player but he is their most important - he played great defense in the paint with five blocks, scored nine points, and just did whatever needed to be done to get the win. We'll also talk about the team, what's happening, and what to expect moving forward. Their next game is on Friday versus the Toronto Raptors.
The ball also pinballed around the floor at times, with both teams having trouble keeping possession. In the 18 games leading into this one, Philly shot 42.4 percent and averaged 97.9 points.
"This not a rivalry", Embiid said, per ESPN. "I don't know our record against them, but it's pretty bad".
Boston began the third quarter with 14-5 run before Philadelphia ran off 10 consecutive points to climb back within 61-57, but another Celtics surge lifted the hosts ahead 77-66 entering the fourth quarter. Brad Stevens doesn't need the best players in a given matchup to exploit the opposition, but now he has them.
"Like I had just gotten back home", Gordon told the Boston Herald. Overall, the Sixers committed 11 turnovers over that span. Philly had a 16.5 turnovers per game average last season, and it seems they haven't improved a lot on that area.
We are not the only ones who are excited, online sportsbooks have already started taking action on who will be in the playoffs, and since online sports betting is now legal in several states (Visit Betting Top 10 for a list of states with legal sports betting) maybe you can get in on some of the action as well.
Kevin Durant dropped in 27 points for the Warriors, who overcame seven-for-26 shooting from three-point range to win on opening night for the first time in three seasons.