Irving ‘day-to-day’ with strained right knee sprain

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But when Embiid went up for a shot, he was clearly hit across the arms by Horford and lost the ball - but no foul was called.

Were the refs bad?

"That was fun, fun", Morris said after the game. With Toronto, Milwaukee and Philadelphia all making big additions at the trade deadline, the last thing the Celtics need is an injury to a key player.

Hayward drained 6-of-7 from behind the arc on his way to a game-high 26 points Tuesday against the Sixers and what was most encouraging is that the bulk of his shots were contested and Philly still couldn't slow him down.

"For me, it's not really about the loss, it's about the attitude that we're playing with", Marcus Morris said. I don't even think like that at all. He missed the last 15 games and all of the playoffs last season with injuries to his left knee.

And this is nothing new. We're in February now and the Celtics remain in a pretty complacent No. 5 slot in the Eastern Conference, a tier in which the green have barely escaped on rare occasion throughout the entire season. Against all other defenders, Embiid has gone 48-for-52 (52 percent), including 4-for-6 Tuesday.

Following his news conference, the two-time All-Star center leaned into the microphone and said "the referees [bleeping] suck".

But Horford has been uniquely suited to stopping Embiid for quite some time now. The Celtics guard is listed as day-to-day. Philly now faces the Celtics at home in their fourth consecutive home game.

More often than not, the Celtics played a physical brand of basketball against Embiid in the low post.

The Celtics ran up a 68-40 lead with just over four minutes left second quarter thanks to 14 points from Irving and another 12 points off the bench from Gordon Hayward. But Boston's primary competition in the East all got better. "We had disappointing losses at home".

Irving has cut a frustrated figure in recent weeks and raised eyebrows when he seemingly changed his tune earlier this month by telling reporters, "ask me July 1" when asked whether he has changed his mind.

"I believe he's going to leave".