Wednesday, December 12, 2012

C's Split Home-Home with Philly

The home team was able to win both match-ups this past weekend between Boston and Philadelphia. Friday night the Sixers squeaked out an overtime victory 95-94 thanks to late game heroics by Evan Turner. Boston had their chances to win both in regulation and OT, both ended with Rajon Rondo missed jumpers. The second one came on a play that looked like Rondo was going to break free for a layup on a handoff from Kevin Garnett, then Rondo appeared to lose his footing and settled for an awkward looking shot that was never even close. Despite the mistake, Rondo posted a triple double with 16 points, 14 assists, and 13 rebounds on his stat line. Paul Pierce also caught fire in the second half, finishing with a game high 27 points, but played 44 minutes, far over where Doc Rivers would like to see him. Jeff Green was fantastic on the road again, tallying 19 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Evan Turner hit the go ahead bucket for Philly and finished with 26 points, 10 boards, and five dimes. Jrue Holiday played well, and did a great job controlling the pace for the Sixers like he has all year, despite not having one of his better statistical games. Thaddeus Young also finished with a double double of 17 points and 12 rebounds. It was a well balanced performance by Philadelphia, but the Celtics felt they should have come out on top in this game, and showed why the next night.

Now on their home floor, the Celtics controlled the rematch with the Sixers from the opening tip. Putting forward their best defensive half of the season, Philly had only 28 points at halftime, and found themselves down 20 points. The big three led the way for Boston, Garnett with a team high 19 points (despite not recording a single rebound in a game for the first time since 1997). Pierce had 13 points and 9 helpers (passing 4,000 career assists and placing him 5th all time in Celtics history), and Rondo put forward a typical stat line of seven points, nine boards, and 11 assists. Once again Jeff Green was a presence off the bench, finishing with 16 points. The high man for Philly was Young with 22, but not much scoring for them as they were held to 39% shooting from the field but the Boston defense.
"I love the way we responded tonight," Pierce said afterwards, "A lot of guys were mad for the fact we lost yesterday and we wanted to take it out on them today. We came up with something to prove." The captain seemed happy with the win, as was coach Doc Rivers; "Our defense is why we won... When you play defense like that, you win games." Rivers kept it simple, but clearly was impressed with the effort. The Celtics will try and make it two in a row at home on Wednesday night against Jason Terry's former team, the Dallas Mavericks.

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