NBA: Celtics Gain Ground On Bucks & 76ers In Eastern Conference

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rsz jaylen 3

The early race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference has been mostly a three-team chase thus far. We are two months into the 2023-24 NBA season and the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, and Philadelphia 76ers have been a head above the rest for about the last four weeks. All three were in action during the Christmas Day slate, and the results left Boston with the happiest of holidays.

NBA: Celtics Gain Breathing Room In The East

A 5 game lead might not seem like much, but it is when you are this early into the season. That was the gap between the #1 team in the East and the #4 seed entering the day, as the Celtics held a slight lead in the conference after the games on the 23rd. They had a 22-6 record, a half-game up on the Bucks and two on the 76ers. But by the time the teams were finished playing, Boston had a far more comfortable lead.

The first NBA game of the day ended in an upset. The Bucks entered the contest as 3.5 point favorites over the New York Knicks, but they couldn’t find an answer for Jalen Brunson, who continued his hot streak by dropping 38 points in a 129-122 victory. Then Boston took the floor for the third game, a matchup with the cross-conference rival Los Angeles Lakers. Anthony Davis scored 40 for LA, but no other player had more than 17, and the Celtics won by 11. Each of their starters scored 18+.

Knicks And Heat Winning Helps Boston

In the Eastern Conference finale of the day, the Miami Heat, who are one of the teams chasing the idol front-runners, took on the 76ers. Bam Adebayo scored 26 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, but it was Jaime Jaquez Jr. who stole the show. The rookie sensation scored a career high 31 points on the day, helping down Philadelphia by a final score of 119-113.

With the two losses from their competitors, the Celtics were able to gain a full game on each. At the end of the day, Boston now holds a 1.5 game lead on Milwaukee, and a full 3 games on Philadelphia.

There are still plenty of games to be played, as we are just entering the meat of the schedule for teams around the NBA. The Celtics will have a great chance to add some wins to their record, as their next three games will come against the Pistons, Raptors, and Spurs.

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