The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics renewed their historic rivalry on Christmas Day as the Celtics defeated the Sixers, 121-114, in overtime.

The Celtics controlled the game for the first half but the Sixers made a frantic comeback in the second half. After outscoring Boston 38-29 in the third quarter, the game came down to the wire with both teams exchanging buckets in the last several minutes. J.J. Redick missed a game-winning jump shot as time expired in regulation to force the game into overtime. Kyrie Irving erupted for 40 points after scoring 16 in the opening quarter alone as the Celtics defeated the Sixers for the second time this season.

Following this loss, the Sixers hold the fourth-best record in the East while the Celtics are now a game back of Philadelphia in the conference standings.

Here are five takeaways from the game.

1. Irving has taken over as the alpha again

For those that have already forgotten, the Celtics were off to a horrid start to the 2018-19 season. However, they've now righted things and it's really in large part due to Irving. After starting out the season 10-10, the Celtics have gone 10-3 over their past 13 games. Irving scored 40 points in the win over Philly while grabbing 10 rebounds and set the tempo by scoring 16 points in the opening quarter. With Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris in the lineup, Boston is a well-oiled machine once again.

2. The Celtics have the right starting lineup

While Irving's play has been something special over the past 13 games, what has also made a major difference in the change in starting lineup. Once Brad Stevens made the right decision in benching both Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward, two ill-fits in the starting five, the Celtics' fortunes starting turning around.

3. Turnovers were key

While both teams shot roughly the same from the field (Celtics' 41.7 percent to the Sixers' 41.3 percent), the turnovers were the difference. Boston took care of the ball with just nine turnovers on the night, while Philly turned it over a total of 19 times. It is a miracle that the Sixers were even able to push the game into overtime considering the turnover differential.

4. This would be an epic playoff series

We all know the Toronto Raptors are the class of the East, but we wouldn't mind seeing the Celtics face off against the Sixers for the second consecutive season in the playoffs. While Boston did defeat Philadelphia in just five games in the second round of the playoffs last year, the games were actually rather close. Four games were decided by single digits, with three of them being decided by an average margin of just 3.3 points. With Jimmy Butler now in the fold, the series should last longer.

5. The Sixers are still behind the Celtics

The Sixers have now lost both of their games against the Celtics this season, and while this game was a lot closer than the 105-87 drubbing on October 16, you can still see the disparity between both squads. Philadelphia still needs another jump shooter and because of their lack of long-range shooting, they cannot afford to turn the ball over 10 more times than Boston and still beat them.

This would be one heck of a playoff series, but unless the Sixers make a move at the trade deadline, it'll likely be the same result as last year.

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