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Olynyk carries Celtics past 76ers

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PHILADELPHIA — Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens recently reminded second-year forward Kelly Olynyk that he needed to always be aggressive on the floor.

Olynyk took that to heart on Monday night, scoring a career-high 30 points as the Celtics blasted the Philadelphia 76ers 105-87.

“What I want him to do is believe in himself the way we believe in him,” Stevens said of Olynyk, “and no matter the situation, if things aren’t going well, be able to play well regardless. And he’s had his moments like that.”

Not consistently, though. Which is why Stevens again told Olynyk a few days ago that he is at his best when he’s attacking.

“That’s something I’m really focusing on,” Olynyk said, “and really been working on dialing in my shot and getting in a groove. It’s feeling good.”

Olynyk, who began the night averaging 10.3 points per game, shot 12-for-17 from the floor, including 3-for-5 3-point shooting. He also grabbed nine rebounds.

His previous career high of 28 points came last season against the Sixers.

“I think he’s really good and think he could be a really good player,” Stevens said. “What he needs to be able to do is do that every night. He might have done it a couple of weeks ago on a Monday and not a Wednesday. You need him to be aggressive every night. We need him to make shots. Our team depends on it.”

Guard Avery Bradley added 15 points for Boston, which snapped a three-game losing streak with its most one-sided victory of the season. Celtics forwards Brandon Bass and Jeff Green had 14 apiece.

Philadelphia, now 0-13 at home and 2-22 overall, was led by rookie center Nerlens Noel, who posted a career-high 19 points. The Sixers’ home start is the worst for an NBA team since Dallas dropped its first 19 in 1993-94.

Philadelphia’s leading scorer on the season, guard Tony Wroten, finished scoreless while playing nearly 30 minutes off the bench. Wroten, who began the night averaging 17.5 points a game, missed all three shots he attempted.

“It’s a fact that you do lay an egg from time to time in the NBA over 82 games, and tonight we laid an egg,” coach Brett Brown said.

Brown said that it was entirely possible that his team had a letdown after blowing an 18-point fourth-quarter lead en route to Saturday’s 120-115 overtime loss to Memphis.

“In general we’re not going to make excuses,” he said. “We were poor tonight.”

Noel, who shot 9-for-12, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots, didn’t believe the Sixers were affected by Saturday’s outcome.

“It’s the NBA,” he said. “We have too many games to worry about that. … We get back to practice. We have these next three days to get better (before facing Charlotte on Friday). We’re not really worried. We’re just focused on improving.”

Boston, which outscored Philadelphia 25-1 on fast-break points, built a 19-point halftime lead. The Sixers cut the gap to 13 midway through the third quarter, but the Celtics went on a 19-7 run that included seven points by Bass and six by Olynyk, putting them ahead 88-63.

Boston (8-14) led by as many as 26 points in the fourth quarter.

Olynyk scored 14 points in the first quarter as Boston overcame an early 11-2 deficit to claim a 30-25 lead by the end of the period.

The Celtics then outscored Philadelphia 27-13 in the second quarter to extend their advantage to 57-38 at halftime.

Olynyk finished the first half with 18 points for Boston, which shot 45.7 percent from the floor despite missing its first nine attempts of the game.

The Sixers shot just 33.3 percent in the half and turned the ball over 15 times, leading to 23 Boston points. Guard Michael Carter-Williams had five of those turnovers.

Boston wound up outshooting Philadelphia 44.2 percent to 35.5 percent. The Sixers finished with 23 turnovers, the Celtics 22.

NOTES: Earlier in the day, the Sixers signed Turkish C/F Furkan Aldemir. The 23-year-old Aldemir, who was playing professionally in his native country since 2007, flew to Philadelphia on Sunday and participated in the team’s shootaround early Monday. “It’s a good opportunity for me,” the 6-9 Aldemir said. “Like all players, the NBA is my dream, and I want to do it unusually hard. I want to do it like my brothers from Turkey.” He made his Sixers debut against Boston and had two points and two rebounds while playing nearly 10 minutes. … Philadelphia waived F Ronald Roberts. … The Celtics were without G Marcus Smart (left Achilles strain) and G Marcus Thornton (left calf strain).

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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