Video: Joel Embiid Slams Officials, Says 'The Referees F***ing Suck' after Loss to Celtics

Al Horford stole the show and infuriated Joel Embiid as the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers on the road to draw level with them in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Celtics' big man finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals on Tuesday night and was an instrumental figure in his team's 112-109 win.

Embiid finished with 23 points, 14 rebounds and three assists, but felt he had little protection from the officials and ended the post-game press conference with a message that will almost certainly land him in trouble with the NBA.

"The referees f***ing suck," the two-time All-Star said before walking out of the media room.

The 24-year-old's frustration was somewhat understandable, given Horford appeared to get away with a blatant infringement down the stretch. With the Sixers trailing by two points and less than 40 seconds on the clock, Embiid posted up and tried to back Horford down, only for the Celtics big man to hit him across the arm.

The referee did not penalize Horford and the Celtics went down to the other end of the court, where Marcus Smart's dunk put them up by four. As it is often the case whenever Horford and Embiid lock horns, the former had the better of the showdown.

The Cameroonian hinted he had played into Horford's hands and that his opponent had done little to deserve any credit.

"He's not doing anything, it's just on me," the Sixers' big man told the Associated Press when asked what Horford did so well to limit him. "I was sleepwalking for three quarters and that's on me. Like I said, that's on me. It has nothing to do with anybody."

However, Gordon Hayward, who top scored for the Celtics despite coming off the bench, suggested Horford's efforts were worthy of recognition.

"Embiid's a monster, so for Al to play like that is really encouraging," said the 28-year-old, who finished with 26 points and four rebounds. "We've seen him do it in the past, too, so it was a good job by Al."

The Sixers have now lost 10 of their 12 meetings with the Celtics since the beginning of last season. Philadelphia suffered a 4-1 drubbing in the Eastern Conference semifinals last year and has lost all three games against Boston so far this season.

The two teams' final regular season meeting is scheduled for March 20 but there's a real possibility of Boston and Philadelphia crossing paths again in the postseason.

Boston and Philadelphia are both 36-21 for the season and are tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference standings but the Celtics own the tiebreaker advantage, which could be crucial in terms of playoffs seeding.

The Sixers travel to New York to face the Knicks on Wednesday, before a two-game home stand against Miami and Portland. Boston, meanwhile, hosts Detroit on Wednesday night before a three-game road trip against Milwaukee, Chicago and Toronto.

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Joel Embiid, #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers, reacts to his three pointer during a 121-105 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 29, in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images
Video: Joel Embiid Slams Officials, Says 'The Referees F***ing Suck' after Loss to Celtics | Sports