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."
|Silver supports NBA players speaking out on social issues|
|NHL commissioner Bettman condemns ´reprehensible´ Smith-Pelly abuse|
|Blackhawks fans ejected after racist heckling of Capitals´ Smith-Pelly|
|Donovan Mitchell caps NBA All-Star challenges with dunk success|
|Steve Nash, Ray Allen among Basketball Hall of Fame finalists|
|Kevin Love: It was necessary to clean house in Cleveland|
|LeBron James thanks Ingraham as Cavs All-Star vows to speak his mind|
|Archer says Rays could have best rotation in baseball|
|Kevin Durant: Laura Ingraham´s ignorant comment was racist|
|Astros manager Hinch on Cole: He doesn´t need to be fixed|
|Kobe Bryant says Lakers ´shouldn´t need´ to recruit free agents|
|Jokic makes history as Nuggets, Wolves enter All-Star break with wins|
|Blue Jays sign pitcher Garcia to one-year deal|
|McCarron a free agent after winning grievance against Bengals|
|Klopp´s cakes, Allen´s tape and Batman Fury - Conte joins ranks of weird press conferences|
|Fitzgerald to return for 15th season, confirms Cardinals coach Wilks|
|Jordan nearly perfect to lead Clippers past Celtics|
|Warriors coach Kerr again calls for gun control after Florida shooting|
|Postcard from Pyeongchang: Beaten USA set for another great Olympic story|
|Lakers rookie Ball to return after All-Star break|
|Porzingis vows to come back ´stronger, better and sharper than ever´|
|Seattle submits official application & down payment for NHL expansion|
|Cavs soar into All-Star break, Rockets down Timberwolves|
|Flyers G Elliott to miss up to six weeks|
|Knicks star Porzingis set to miss 10 months after surgery|
|Manning to drive pace car at Daytona 500|
|Jazz rally past depleted Spurs for 10th straight win|
|Cardinals sign GM Keim to contract extension|
|Winter Olympics 2018: Chelios frustrated by ´politics´ in IOC-NHL pay dispute|
|LeBron falls short of triple-double as Cavs kick-start new era, Rockets win eighth straight|
|Bryant says he would be protesting during the national anthem if still in NBA|
|Mets pitcher Wheeler undergoes stomach injections to promote bone strength|
|Kings´ Brown suspended one game for kneeing Sergachev|
|LeBron James revels in new-look Cavs after win over Celtics|
|Colts hire Reich after McDaniels saga|
|Penguins´ Sidney Crosby nets 400th goal|
|Thomas ´got powers back´ in Lakers debut|
|Warriors break out of ´rough patch´ in impressive win against Spurs|
|Pierce a better offensive player than Bird, says Parish|
|Utah Jazz waive former MVP Derrick Rose|
|Korver leads Cavs, Wade saves day in return to Miami|
|Simmons can´t figure out why he isn´t an All-Star|
|Blue Jackets´ Werenski takes skate to groin|
|Senators give GM Dorion three-year contract extension|
|Garoppolo ready to continue winning in San Francisco|
|Vikings hire Eagles QB coach DeFilippo as OC|
|Sherman expects to stay with Seahawks|
|Thomas trade positions Lakers to chase elite stars, says Magic Johnson|
|Celtics outlast Wizards in OT, Warriors end skid|
|NBA trade deadline roundup: Cavaliers dominate headlines, clean out bench|
|Jason Kelce goes on epic rant as Eagles celebrate Super Bowl win|
|NBA fines Draymond Green $50K for offensive language toward official|
|Cleveland GM Altman: Cavs were marching a slow death before trades|
|Walker replaces Porzingis in NBA All-Star Game|
|Chiefs release CB Darrelle Revis|
|49ers sign Garoppolo to record five-year $137.5m deal|
|Wade gets Miami homecoming as Cavs clean house|
|Cavaliers send Isaiah Thomas to Lakers|
|Super Bowl LII: Millions of Eagles fans pack parade route to celebrate win|
|Thomas ´tired of being traded´ and wants Cavs stay|
|Harden leads Rockets to sixth straight win, Suns lose by 48 to Spurs|
|WATCH: LeBron James hits buzzer-beater to lift Cavs in OT|
|Rained out: Leaky roof forces NBA to postpone Pacers-Pelicans|
|Senators´ Burrows suspended for 10 games for kneeing Devils´ Hall|
|Knicks send Willy Hernangomez to Hornets|
|Yankees acquire Seahawks QB Russell Wilson in trade with Rangers|
|Shazier will be part of Steelers in 2018 ´one way or the other´|
|AS Monaco finally lose as final play-off spots are settled|
|Agent drops Josh McDaniels after Colts coaching controversy|
|Former Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo to play PGA Tour event|