Joel Embiid felt like he was destined to struggle from the outset in the Philadelphia 76ers' 114-103 defeat to the Boston Celtics in London on Thursday.
The Sixers entered the match on the back of four straight wins but let a 22-point second-quarter lead slip to fall to a third loss against the Celtics this season.
Embiid shot just four-of-16 from the floor and missed all six of his three-point attempts in his previous outing against Boston in October. The center endured similar difficulties this time around - he was six-of-17 for 15 points at the O2 Arena.
"I started off really frustrated by the way everything was set up and from there if I'm not having fun, or another way for me to have fun is to kick someone's a*** or talk trash, then usually I have a bad game," Embiid, who still posted a double-double with 10 rebounds, told a media conference.
"I was just not in the rhythm. I didn't do a good job of letting my team-mates find me either, so I don't think they [the Celtics] did anything special.
"I feel like it was the way the offense was set up. I feel like in the third quarter we didn't move the ball. We kept going back down and trying to find the mismatch.
"I don't think it was the rhythm, I just wasn't finding my spots. Like I said, I was frustrated from the beginning and usually if I'm frustrated I have bad games."
TJ JoJo. pic.twitter.com/TX3Lg7fCai— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) January 11, 2018
Jaylen Brown led the Celtics in scoring with 21 points and praised Al Horford, Aron Baynes and Daniel Theis for shutting the Sixers big man down.
Brown said: "I give credit to our guys, Al and Baynes, Theis, they come out and execute the gameplan. Just trying to make him uncomfortable.
"It's hard to guard him by yourself so our team mindset is to make it hard for him, to get tough looks."
A seventh straight win keeps Boston sitting pretty at the top of the Eastern Conference at 34-10.
The Celtics defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves at the O2 Arena in the preseason of their title-winning 2007-08 campaign, but star point guard Kyrie Irving – who contributed 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds against the Sixers – feels the reshuffled group must first discover their identity before considering a championship bid.
"We have to be dialled in at every moment. It's a long season still ahead and we're a little bit past the halfway point – it's great for that to happen for that past team but it's the past and we have to be very present," said Irving, part of the Cleveland Cavaliers side that claimed the title in 2016.
"Winning an NBA championship is one of the hardest things you can do in your life. As a young, developing group we still have to take advantage of the opportunities afforded to us to grow and really figure out who we want to be and our identity on a consistent basis.
"Once we do that we'll feel like we've put ourselves in a great position to deal with the things thrown at us in the future. We're still in the regular season, we have the playoffs to play, and until we get to that point where we'll be tested, mentally and physically… those are still steps we need to take."
16 de enero 2018
|Head coach Cooper to leave Stade Francais|
|Silverwood plays down talk of replacing Bayliss|
|Lambert ´never thought´ he would return to Premier League|
|Wenger ´very aggressive´ towards referee Dean, says FA report|
|Reported Arsenal target Malcom starts for Bordeaux vs Caen|
|Valverde not making big deal of Dembele´s latest Barca blow|
|Costly day for Kohli as Proteas close in on series win|
|Date set for Afghanistan´s maiden Test|
|Returning McIlroy ready to end winless run|
|In-form Short leaves coach Kirsten needing dental treatment|
|Arsenal will have a ´hard time´ signing Malcom|
|Ronaldo and Madrid nominated for Laureus awards|
|Nantes´ Diego Carlos brands Chapron clash ´historic´|
|This is not important - Conte unconcerned if substitutions upset Hazard|
|Conte ´doesn´t think´ Chelsea have pursued Sanchez|
|Cobblestone climb part of 2019 Tour de France Grand Depart|
|Emery hints at Neymar return against Dijon|
|Joshua labels Parker claims ´fake news´|
|´Emotional´ Fleetwood honoured by Seve Ballesteros Award|
|Tears for Kvitova as Bouchard sets up Halep meeting|
|Mkhitaryan key to United-Sanchez deal, claims Raiola|
|WATCH: Sabalenka wins point using racquet throat|
|Federer, Djokovic and Zverev among Australian Open first-round winners|
|Kubica gets reserve role as Williams hire Sirotkin|
|Shambolic Stars out after Sixers thrashing|
|Wales pick uncapped Worcester wing Adams in Six Nations squad|
|Tevez: CSL spell was a holiday|
|Mignolet considering Liverpool future|
|Laidlaw among several returning stars in Scotland Six Nations squad|
|´Fairy tale´ 2017 motivation for Federer|
|Fred waiting for Guardiola call amid Man City speculation|
|Dominant Federer makes light work of Bedene|
|Halep faces nervous wait over ankle injury|
|Inter confident but patient over Rafinha|
|Kohli fined after umpire outburst|
|Djokovic hits back at Australian Open boycott suggestions|
|De Grandhomme lifts Black Caps to win in Taylor´s 200th ODI|
|Giggs had counselling after Old Trafford exit|
|Durant continues dominance over Cavs as Warriors win|
|Halep survives scare and rolled ankle at Melbourne Park|
|Westbrook ejected against Kings after arguing call|
|Djokovic eases past Young on return|
|Sharapova staying grounded after Melbourne win|
|Neville: Mourinho would happily swap Mkhitaryan for Sanchez|
|Raonic suffers surprise loss in Melbourne|
|Sharapova wins on return to Australian Open|
|Pirates send McCutchen to Giants|
|Man United becoming Pogba´s team – Mourinho|
|Saints, Steelers coaching staffs to lead Pro Bowl teams|
|LeBron says we cannot let racism ´conquer us as people´|
|Super Bowl hopeful Belichick cautiously preparing for Jaguars|
|Cardinals veteran Yadier Molina: Three more years before retirement|
|The best finishes in NFL playoff history - Where does Keenum & Diggs´ Minneapolis miracle rank?|
|Can ´talking with everyone´ but hints at Liverpool stay|
15 de enero 2018
|Mourinho ´not unconfident´ Manchester United will sign Sanchez|
|Pogba warns City that United will not give up the chase|
|Assist king Pogba matches De Bruyne, Sane despite injury and suspension|
|Manchester United 3 Stoke City 0: Valencia, Martial and Lukaku trim gap at the top|
|Shaw feeling on top of his game amid United run|
|Ulster and Ireland wing Bowe to retire|
|Mkhitaryan left out by Manchester United amid Arsenal talk|
|Inter secure Lopez on loan from Benfica|
|Hurst marvels at hat-trick maestro Kane|
|WATCH: Neymar nutmegging for fun in PSG training|
|Best eager to sort out Ireland future|
|Bastareaud and Haskell to learn fate on Wednesday|
|Nantes´ Carlos has red card overturned after being kicked by referee|
|De Villiers leads Proteas´ recovery following imperious Kohli century|
|´Logical´ for Aubameyang to stay at Dortmund, says Stoger|
|Di Resta out of Williams running|