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Jim Davis/The Boston Globe

BOSTON � It wasn�t pretty early, but the Boston Celtics recovered from a slow start to cruise to a 98-78 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in their preseason opener. The blowout was highlighted by the Celtics outscoring the Sixers by a 54-30 margin in the second half.

There were plenty of highlights (and lowlights) to talk about, but here are three things we learned about the new-look Celtics after the dominating performance.

1. Evan Turner can do a little bit of everything With Rajon Rondo (hand) and Jeff Green (calf) sidelined with injuries, the fifth-year swingman was thrust into a leading role within the Celtics offense right out of the gate Monday night. Turner made the most of the opportunity, posting a double-double in his Celtics debut with a team-high 15 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

Turner also assumed point guard duties for the majority of the second half, which seemed to jumpstart the Celtics offense. His aggressive penetration created space and scoring opportunities for his teammates and he shined against his former team.

After the game, Celtics’ coach Brad Stevens spoke about Turner making a strong impression in his first appearance in green.

�I think that�s who he is,� Stevens said about Turner�s ability to thrive at multiple positions. �And that�s who he�s got to be. I think he can be better than he was tonight, but he played well. He�s been pretty good in practice. He was not as good in the scrimmage the other night and I think he was pretty hard on himself, but I thought yesterday was his best practice and he followed it up with a very good game tonight.�

2. Marcus Smart is NBA-ready on one end of the floor Stevens showed some confidence in the rookie by giving him the start at point guard …read more