Irving shoots Celtics past 76ers in Christmas Day OT thriller

Boston: Kyrie Irving scored 40 points, including two three-pointers in the final two minutes of overtime to push the Boston Celtics past Ben Simmons' Philadelphia 76ers in a Christmas Day NBA thriller.

The Celtics overcame a five-point deficit in the extra session to prevail 121-114 to defy Australia's Simmons who scored 11 points and hauled in 14 rebounds.

Stepping up: Boston’s Kyrie Irving.Credit:AP

Irving, who added 10 rebounds, sent the game into OT by sinking a difficult jumper with 20.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

The guard's performance also helped overcome 34 points and 16 rebounds by Philadelphia's Joel Embiid.

Jayson Tatum added 23 points and 10 rebounds for Boston. Marcus Morris also scored 23.

Jimmy Butler added 24 points for Philadelphia and JJ Redick had 17 but the latter missed a shot that would have won the game at the end of regulation.

James Harden recorded his seventh consecutive 30-plus-point game, but when he needed scoring help down the stretch, he got it as Houston rallied for a 113-109 win over visiting Oklahoma City.

Australian Ben Simmons.Credit:AP

A crucial stretch came with Harden either on the bench or facilitating, as the Rockets flipped an 88-86 deficit entering the fourth quarter into a 102-95 lead before Harden scored more than halfway through the final period.

Clint Capela (16 points, 23 rebounds) threw down a pair of dunks before Eric Gordon (17 points) converted a driving layup that extended the Houston lead to seven points.

Austin Rivers, one day after signing with the Rockets, subsequently drilled a pair of three-pointers to keep the Thunder at bay.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 11 of his 30 points in the third quarter as Milwaukee seized control and recorded a 109-95 victory at New York.

Antetokounmpo recorded his 13th 30-point game of the season and added 14 rebounds for his 22nd double-double, but it was his performance in the penultimate term that helped the Bucks get a win in their first appearance on Christmas since facing the Kansas City Kings in 1977.


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