Your Thursday Morning Roundup

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After beating Charlotte the previous night, the Sixers really needed to beat the Celtics last night.

Good news, they did. Thanks in part to Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler.

Boston led for the majority of the game and as much as 15 at one point, but Philadelphia came back by outscoring the Celtics 33-25 en route to a 118-115 win.

Embiid had a game-high 37 points along with 22 rebounds while Butler scored 22 points, 15 of them coming in the fourth. Marcus Smart got ejected for a cheap shot shove.

Altogether, the starting five combined for 110 out of the 118 total points. That’s good, but also not good. Mike Scott had four points, while James Ennis and Boban Marjanovic each had two points. The bench needs to step up for the playoffs very soon.

But at least the Sixers beat Boston. Thank god. With the win, they’re 2.5 games up on Indiana for 3rd and 3 games up on Boston with 11 games left to play. They’ll play the Hawks in Atlanta Saturday night.

Finally, give it to me JoJo:

The Roundup:

After the last two First Four games last night, the first round of the NCAA Tournament kicks off today. Check out our full list of NCAA Tournament coverage, including five potential upset picks and the top five buzzer-beaters.

Villanova, a Philly school, plays St. Mary’s tonight at 7:20 PM in Hartford on TBS.

Phil Martelli wants to coach again after being let go from St. Joe’s:

Martelli was outspoken in his unhappiness over how Temple had handled the news of the departure of Fran Dunphy this time last year. He was incensed. I asked him a loaded question: How did St. Joseph’s handle the departure of Phil Martelli?

“Well, I always felt, in everything I did at St. Joseph’s, whether with basketball or for the university … what I attempted to be was a partner,’’ Martelli said. He listed all the various departments he interacted with, from development to the office of the president. “I wanted them to feel like they had a partner with a common vision. Retrospectively, I would ask, was I a partner? And was I a good partner?”

He pointed out he was at 54th and City Avenue more than half his life.

“The handling, I think you separate it two ways,’’ Martelli said. “They can pick who they want to coach their basketball team. I understand it. The numbers, over the X years. My supporters might say, or I might, two of the last five years, you won the Atlantic 10 …“

“I do know this, 40 hours later,’’ Martelli said. “I do have the juice. I do want to coach again. I won’t let it scar me.”

DraftKings and PointsBet have some good deals for this weekend’s games.

Andrew McCutchen will be the leadoff hitter for the Phillies on Opening Day. That will definitely help the Phils’ offense.

Former Phillies outfielder Bobby Abreu will be this year’s Wall of Fame inductee:

The Phillies are also on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

In more important news, Donut Burgers are at Citizens Bank Park.

The Flyers are in Chicago to take on the Blackhawks tonight at 8:30 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia. They look to stay in the playoff race after their loss to Montreal.

NHL players love Gritty.

In other sports news, Ichiro will retire after their game against the A’s in Tokyo (which is still going on as of writing this).

North Dakota State and Arizona State won their First Four games.

John Calipari plans to stay and retire at Kentucky despite UCLA having interest.

In the news, a man was killed in a Germantown bar robbery.

New Zealand’s prime minister announced a ban on all assault rifles.

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