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."
|WATCH: Anthony Joshua serves up Stephen Curry assist|
|Rockets backed up fighting talk, says Harden|
|Curry not taking the blame for defeated Warriors|
|Brewers extend Diamondbacks´ losing streak to six|
|Rockets break Warriors´ 16-game home postseason win streak|
|Chargers tight end Henry suffers torn ACL|
|WATCH: Harden dunks all over Green|
|Giants sign wide receiver Shepard|
|Stevens says Tatum should´ve been unanimous All-Rookie First Team selection|
|Rodgers on Bryant: If he ends up here, we´ll welcome him|
|Jets´ Hackenberg dealt to Raiders for 2019 conditional pick|
|Mets sign Bautista, start him same day|
|Warriors´ Iguodala ruled out for game four|
|Warriors´ Iguodala upgraded to questionable for game four|
|Simmons, Mitchell unanimous picks for NBA All-Rookie first team|
|Ronaldo again pips LeBron and Messi as sport´s most famous star|
|A fast start to life - The Golden Knights and the expansion teams who excelled early|
|It doesn´t get better - Stevens relishing best-of-three shootout for Celtics|
|LeBron and Lue hail evergreen Kyle Korver|
|Yankees´ home runs fuel win over Rangers|
|LeBron scores 44 points as Cavs level series against Celtics|
|LeBron James sets record for postseason field goals|
|Nationals´ Juan Soto hits homer in second career at-bat|
|Eli Apple embarrassed by 2017 antics, ready to move forward|
|Bills release Richie Incognito from reserve/retired list|
|Gentry and Pelicans want Cousins back in New Orleans|
|MLB extends Blue Jays closer Osuna´s administrative leave|
|LeBron ´appreciative´ of hometown effort to put up statue of him|
|LeBron or Kawhi could lead Lakers to the Finals - World Peace|
|Harden, D´Antoni rue ´soft´ Rockets performance in Warriors drubbing|
|Wash your mouth out! - Curry´s expletive outburst earns scolding from mother|
|Ohtani says he´s not good enough for Home Run Derby yet|
|Braves rally for six runs in the ninth to defeat Marlins|
|Warriors breeze past Rockets in game three|
|Golden Knights GM on Stanley Cup Finals berth: I don´t know how we did it|
|I did a ´s*** job´ defending LeBron James – Morris|
|Cavs´ Lue not satisfied with just one win|
|Sweden win shoot-out to retain world title|
|I think I made a fantastic decision - Garoppolo key to Sherman joining 49ers|
|Green: Warriors play best when we feel threatened|
|Don´t try it at home! - LeBron wows with game three passing|
|Celtics ´needed to get our butts whooped´ by Cavs, says Rozier|
|NBA great Bill Russell released from hospital|
|Indians ace Kluber becomes first in AL to seven wins|
|Kuznetsov sets Capitals´ playoff points record|
|Cavaliers rout Celtics to cut series deficit to 2-1|
|Sweden batter USA, Swiss roll on to gold medal match|
|Quarterback Manziel heading to the CFL|
|World Peace: Durant not part of Warriors dynasty|
|Watt offers to pay for funerals of Santa Fe shooting victims|
|Jacob deGrom leads Mets to much-needed win|
|Suns open to trading number one pick|
|Cousins open to Pelicans return, but wants to play for a contender|
|Bucks´ Antetokounmpo met with Budenholzer before hiring, excited for new era|
|Cowboys in a standstill under Garrett, says Owens|
|Mets outfielder Lagares expected to miss rest of season with toe injury|
|Cardinals´ DeJong suffers fractured hand, to miss ´significant time´|
|Former All-Star Buchholz expected to start for Diamondbacks on Sunday|
|Red Sox first team to 30 wins as Price, Betts steal the show|
|Pirates send Marte to DL, promote Meadows|
|Angels reliever Middleton facing Tommy John surgery|
|Comedy of errors force Yankees to sleep at airport|
|Reds may already be looking to deal Harvey|
|Canada see off Russia as Sweden squeeze past plucky Latvia|
|Budenholzer appointed Bucks head coach|
|Smith says Cavs can´t make LeBron play ´hero ball´|
|WATCH: Rome bewildered by streetballer Bone Collector|
|Rockets-Warriors not a ´chess match´ for Harden|
|Verlander sets strikeout mark against Ohtani in shutout|
|Curry plays down fitness worries|