76ers 82, Celtics 81
Tonight, it’s the Key Moments.
Two prayers were answered for the Philadelphia 76ers while defeating the Boston Celtics during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The first arrived with 4:04 remaining in the game and the score tied at 65-65.
Paul Pierce had just blocked a shot by Lou Williams and the Sixers had just 0.9 seconds remaining on their shot clock. At that point, it was essentially a “throw it in and hope for a miracle” type of moment for Philadelphia. And it got one.
Lavoy Allen caught the inbound pass on the right wing, spiraled his body and chucked up a 22-foot jumper that banked off the glass and through the basket. That play stood out to several players and coaches as a turning point in the contest.
“Lavoy hit that shot at the end of the clock that, you know, when you get that you go you think, ‘Maybe we’ve got a shot...’ ” said Sixers head coach Doug Collins.
Rivers saw it from the other end of the spectrum.
“Allen makes the bank shot, with 0.9 (seconds) – that was a long 0.9, I must say,” said Rivers.
Shortly after Rivers spoke to the press, Andre Iguodala notified the media that Allen was the “last option” on the play and he called the bucket a “game-changer.”
Allen’s basket may have upped Philadelphia’s confidence, but Boston still had a chance to pull out a win in the final minute. It trailed by three with 12 seconds left in the game when Rivers called for a timeout to draw up one of his patented ATOs. The issue, however, was that the Celtics were prevented from running that play.
The Celtics tossed the ball inbounds but Kevin Garnett was whistled for an illegal screen just two seconds into the possession. An illegal screen in the final 12 seconds of an NBA Playoff game? Rivers didn’t like the call.
“I wasn’t fond of it. At all,” he said. “You know, listen, I think Kevin got three off-the-ball offensive fouls. So, clearly it looked like they were looking for it all night, and they got three of them. Listen, if you’re going to tell me that Kevin was the only one moving in picks tonight, then I’ll live with that. But he clearly was not the only one.”
Boston’s opinion didn’t matter in the end. The whistle was blown, Philadelphia took over possession of the ball and went on to ice the game with free throws down the stretch.
The Sixers sent out a couple of requests to the basketball gods and they were answered. Those two critical plays were enough to knot this series up at 1-1.
Key Box Score Line
There weren’t many players who shot the ball well in Game 2, but Ray Allen was one of the few. Allen came off of Boston’s bench to score a team-high 17 points in 37:29 of playing time.
Allen shot a solid 7-for-14 from the field during Game 2 and hit a critical 3-pointer in the final minutes to keep the Celtics within striking distance of winning the game. He also chipped in four rebounds, two assists and three steals during the contest.
Box Score Nuggets
- The two teams shot nearly identical percentages from the field for the second consecutive game, with Boston shooting 41.8 percent and Philadelphia shooting 40.8 percent.
- Jrue Holiday led the game with 18 points.
- Ray Allen led Boston with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting.
- The teams combined for 37 turnovers (19 by Boston, 18 by Philadelphia).
- Holiday was the only player in the game to log more than 40 minutes of playing time.
- The Celtics were outrebounded 47-36.
- Rajon Rondo dished out a game-high 13 assists.
- Brandon Bass tied for the game high with 15 shot attempts but scored only 12 points.
- Both teams grabbed double-digit steals (11 for Boston, 10 for Philadelphia).
- Kevin Garnett scored 15 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
- Every Boston player who appeared in the game played at least 11:26, with the exception of Marquis Daniels, who played just two seconds.
- Avery Bradley finished with a plus-18 in the plus/minus category despite playing just 20 minutes.
- Lavoy Allen, who scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds off the bench, had a game-high plus-21 in the plus/minus category.
- Paul Pierce committed a game-high five turnovers.
Quote of the Night
Doug Collins on his team's growth: "Our young guys just keep growin’ and they’re really becoming men."