MANCHESTER, N.H. — Marcus Smart scored 10 points and Jared Sullinger pulled down 14 rebounds as the Boston Celtics closed out the preseason with an 81-65 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night at Verizon Wireless Arena.

Jordan Mickey had 10 points for the Celtics, who outrebounded the Sixers 67-54. Amir Johnson had 13 rebounds and Kelly Olynyk pulled down 12 for Boston, which finished the preseason with a 6-1 record.

Philadelphia had a late scare when center Robert Covington was helped off the court with 7 minutes remaining. The Sixers said Covington sprained his right knee.

Jahlil Okafor led Philadelphia with 12 points and had eight rebounds. Nerlens Noel finished with eight points, nine rebounds and blocked three shots for the Sixers, who lost their final four preseason games.

Boston was playing about 50 miles north of home.


CAVALIERS: The season opener is four days away and there are doubts LeBron James will be ready.

James still isn’t practicing because of a troublesome back and there’s no guarantee he’ll be on the floor when the Cavs begin their quest for an NBA title on Tuesday in Chicago.

The four-time MVP received an anti-inflammatory injection in his back on Oct. 13, but hasn’t practiced since as he hasn’t been cleared by Cleveland’s medical and training staffs. James, who played in just two of Cleveland’s seven preseason games, said Friday that he’s not positive he’ll be on the floor against the Bulls.

“If everything goes right,” he said. “We feel like we’re progressing really well and if we can continue to do that, then I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to go.”

LAKERS: An MRI exam on guard Jordan Clarkson’s injured shoulder showed no significant damage after he was hurt in Thursday’s preseason finale against Golden State.

COMMISSIONER ADAM Silver is optimistic about the NBA’s health and relationship with its players, offering hope that the league can avoid another lockout in 2017.

Silver also said he expects the league will reduce the number of preseason games, though he doesn’t know how many would be played.

Owners wrapped up two days of their preseason meetings before Silver held a press conference Friday. They are expecting an enormous influx of revenues next year with the beginning of new national TV deals valued at about $2.6 billion.

Either side could opt out of the collective bargaining agreement in 2017, six years after it was approved following a work stoppage that shortened the 2011-12 season, but the league and players’ association are trying to avoid another interruption.

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