Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

76ers’ Markelle Fultz Ready To ‘Test Myself’ Against Kyrie Irving, Celtics

76ers’ Markelle Fultz Ready To ‘Test Myself’ Against Kyrie Irving, Celtics

"Finally I got this game out of the way and I'm just so grateful I was out there with my teammates and coaching staff".

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"I'm sure it is", he said.

It was Irving's lowest in a game since joining the Celtics, but it does exclude the game last October when he played just two minutes.

Golden State needed a strong fourth quarter to win on a festive night after the two-time defending champions received their 2018 rings in a pregame ceremony shortly before tipoff and began the final season at Oracle Arena before a move across San Francisco Bay to new Chase Center.

As the first game of the highly anticipated 2018-19 season progressed, however, the spotlight shifted to others on the Celtics' deep roster. But Stevens should be able to figure it out.

As Sixers coach Brett Brown said, Irving and Hayward fit perfectly into the style of play the Celtics employed in the playoffs past year. With JJ Redick now coming off the bench, expect the bench to come with a lot of firepower. Fultz made his first National Basketball Association start on Tuesday. Integrating Markelle Fultz into the offense will nearly certainly present some bumps along the way but, as out of place as he looked at times, Joel Embiid's rough night had as much to do with the 76ers rough offensive performance as anything. As Brown said, the fact that Fultz was at least willing to take the jumpers the Bulls were giving him is important. "I feel like the more that he can and I can and really sometimes the fans, let's look at him as a 20-year-old talent instead of any type of baggage that comes with being the first player chosen. It's inevitable he will have ups and downs". For the first month and a half, though, they will be without a key cornerstone in second-year forward Lauri Markkanen.

They shot a combined 6-for-26 for the game.

Simmons reached a triple-double with 2:34 left in the third, the 13th of his career and the first Sixer to ever get one in the home opener.

In the middle of the second half, the legacy of tough defense on Embiid played by both Horford and Baynes drew some attention on Twitter. His single-game high last season was three, a feat he achieved on five occasions.

The Warriors have won three of the past four NBA Championships and this season will be seeking consecutive titles and four of five, easily making them one of the greatest NBA dynasties of all-time.

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