Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics 71, 76ers 103
Celtics 71, 76ers 103
The Boston Celtics won their last two games in exciting, overtime fashion. Those two wins cost them another one tonight.
As a result of those two tough, long victories back in Boston, the Celtics’ best players were running on fumes tonight in Philadelphia. Three of their starters had played more than 80 minutes over the past two games, and one more had played 79.
Those factors, combined with the fact that Boston took the court tonight in the Wells Fargo Center in the tail-end of a back-to-back, were a recipe for disaster.
Boston stepped onto the floor against the 76ers and laid a complete egg. Its players did not display an ounce of energy or execution over the first three quarters and that resulted in them being put through a clinic that was hosted by their opponent.
Philadelphia jumped out to an early nine-point lead after Andre Iguodala slammed home an alley-oop with 5:15 remaining in the first period. That lead swelled all the way up to 18 points when Evan Turner nailed a pull-up jumper with 42.9 seconds remaining in the quarter, leaving Philadelphia ahead 33-15.
We’ve seen this Celtics team stage amazing comebacks on several occasions this season, but tonight the mojo simply wasn’t there. Boston never made a run and fell behind by as many at 37 points in the second half. The final score of the game was 103-71.
Games like these will happen to every team in the league during the course of this challenging season. It just so happened that for Boston, it happened on one of the most important nights of its season thus far.
Key Box Score Line
Only one Celtics player, JaJuan Johnson, had anything close to a solid game tonight, leaving us to choose from the 76ers for our Box Score Line of the night. And it didn’t take long to make the decision.
The Sixers shined in a very important game and their promising second-year guard, Evan Turner, was the brightest of them all. He scored a game-high and career-high 26 points thanks to an impressive 11-for-19 shooting night. He made three of his four free throw attempts and was the energetic leader for Philadelphia all night long.
Turner also crashed the glass with a reckless abandon. He grabbed nine rebounds in the game, which was nearly double that of any Celtics player and trailed only Nikola Vucevic’s game-high total of 12.
Turner had been drawing the ire of many fans in Philadelphia for not living up to his No. 2 overall draft selection in 2010. Tonight he showed them all that they should temper those thoughts.
Box Score Nuggets
- Boston shot just 35.0 percent from the floor in the game.
- Ray Allen's only two points came from the free-throw line. He shot 0-for-5 from the floor.
- Evan Turner led the game with a career-high 26 points and he also grabbed nine boards.
- Kevin Garnett and JaJuan Johnson tied for the team-high in rebounding with five boards apiece.
- The Celtics did not score more than 20 points in any of the four quarters.
- Nikola Vucevic tallied the only double-double of the game with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
- The Celtics shot 0-for-8 from downtown.
- Four Sixers grabbed at least seven rebounds, while not a single Celtic grabbed more than five.
- Philadelphia led by as many as 37 points.
- Johnson was a bright spot for the Celtics, notching 10 points and five boards in exactly 13 minutes of action.
- The 76ers outrebounded Boston by a count of 54-35.
- Johnson and Avery Bradley were the only Celtics to make more than half of their shots.
- Philadelphia scored 26 fast-break points.
- Paul Pierce led the Celtics in scoring with 16 points.
- Rajon Rondo and Andre Iguodala tied for the game high in assists with eight apiece.
- Iguodala nearly recorded a triple-double with 10 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.
Quote of the Night
Paul Pierce's explanation of tonight's game: "I really can’t explain. Just chalk it up as one of those nights from playing with tired legs. We know this team isn’t 30 points better than us. We are coming off two games, straight back-to-backs traveling. I don’t like to make excuses, but we know we are a better team then what we showed tonight."