Australian superstar and NBA rookie of the year fancy Ben Simmons did his All-Star hopes no harm, but it was a night to forget for Philadelphia in the NBA's annual London game at a sold-out O2 Arena.
The 76ers led by 22 points midway through the second quarter before falling away to lose 114-103 to Eastern Conference leaders Boston Celtics in front of 19,078 fans.
Simmons remains on track to become the first rookie All-Star since Blake Griffin in 2011.On Thursday he moved to third in voting for the point guard position, behind runaway leader Kyrie Irving of the Celtics and Toronto's DeMar DeRozan.
The 21-year-old former LSU prodigy was also endorsed by Cleveland superstar LeBron James, who tweeted: “#NBAVote my lil bro @BenSimmons25! He definitely got next.”
The loss ended a four-match winning streak for Philadelphia and may dent their play-off hopes as they attempt to stay in touch with fellow hopefuls Detroit and Indiana.
Simmons's 16-point haul was behind only JJ Redick's team and game-high 22 for the 76ers.
He was also involved in a fracas late in the fourth quarter with Celtics forward Marcus Morris which brought both benches onto the court.
"It was a strong hit," Simmons said. "He just didn't like it."
Philadelphia coach Brett Brown, who coached Simmons's father, Dave, in the NBL and ran the Australian national team between 2009 and 2012, was effusive in his praise for the 2016 No.1 draft pick.
"Ben can be anything he wants to be," Brown said.
"We look at him bringing the ball across the floor - he is a six foot 10 point guard. We are all very excited.
"His growth is clearly going to get better - what he brings is very special and we are very thrilled to have him in Australia."
Boston, led by 20 points from Melbourne-born Irving and Jaelen Brown's 21, moved six wins clear at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.