76ers 85, Celtics 101
The Philadelphia 76ers led 57-53 over the Boston Celtics when Andre Iguodala intercepted a pass by Kevin Garnett with eight minutes remaining in the third period. Paul Pierce immediately fouled Iguodala in the open court, an infraction that was deemed a clear-path foul.
Philadelphia now had two free throws coming followed by possession of the ball.
Philadelphia now had an opportunity to pull away and gain substantial momentum.
Philadelphia failed. At all of that.
Iguodala, who has looked a lot like Shaquille O’Neal at the free-throw line in this series, stepped to the line and promptly bricked both of his free throw attempts, getting a rise out of the TD Garden crowd. The Celtics faithful would have plenty to cheer about shortly thereafter, too.
The Sixers followed up Iguodala’s two bricks with a turnover, then anther turnover, and then another turnover. The finally attempted a shot on their fourth possession that followed Iguodala’s bricks, but they bricket that shot, too. Finally, on their fifth possession after the missed free throws, the Sixers turned it over once again.
Yep, that’s two bricked free throws, five turnovers and a missed jumper in a three-minute stretch of basketball. That will lose you playoff games.
“That really was the deciding point in the game,” said Doug Collins.
And he was certainly correct. Boston scored eight points during that stretch, six of which came from an invigorated Brandon Bass, to take a 61-57 lead with 5:18 remaining in the third period. The C’s never looked back from there and went on to blow Philadelphia out of the gym, 101-85, and take a 3-2 series lead.
Key Box Score Line
Someone placed a big order of Bass tonight at TD Garden.
There wasn’t as much of a filet of Bass on the parquet floor during Game 5 as there was a Bass – as in Brandon Bass – filleting the 76ers like a contestant on Top Chef. Bass matched his career high in scoring with a game-high 27 points that arrived on just 13 field goal attempts.
It wasn’t just the points that stood out for Bass. More importantly, it was the way he accumulated them. He slammed home several dunks in the third quarter and made nine of his game-high 10 free throw attempts. Eighteen of his points arrived in the third quarter, a total that was just four points shy of his season high in scoring for an entire game.
While leading the game in scoring, Bass also managed to tie for the team-high in rebounds with six. He contributed two blocked shot as well.
This man was unconscious during Game 5, and he’s the biggest reason why the Celtics are now on the verge of the Conference Finals.
Box Score Nuggets
- Four Celtics grabbed at least four steals.
- Boston scored at least 23 points in all four quarters.
- Brandon Bass scored a game-high 27 points on 9-of-13 shooting.
- Ray Allen and Paul Pierce combined to shoot just 5-of-14 from the field.
- There were 90 combined points scored in the paint, 46 by Philadelphia and 44 by Boston.
- For the first time in the series, a team won despite being outrebounded. Philadelphia won the rebounding battle 37-31.
- Elton Brand led the Sixers with 19 points.
- Evan Turner, who grabbed 10 rebounds, was the only player in the game to grab more than six boards.
- Each team had five players score in double-figures.
- Kevin Garnett scored 20 points on 8-of-17 shooting.
- Two reserves scored in double-figures while shooting perfectly from the field: Greg Stiemsma (10 points, 5-of-5 shooting) and Lavoy Allen (12 points, 6-of-6 shooting).
- Boston made nearly three-times as many free throws, 26, as Philadelphia made (10).
- Andre Iguodala shot 1-of-4 from 3-point range and 1-of-4 from the free-throw line.
- Both teams made three 3s.
- Rajon Rondo dished out a game-high 14 assists.
- Turner, who scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, logged the game's only double-double.
- Bass (9-of-10) and Pierce (9-of-9) combined to shoot 18-of-19 from the free-throw line.
- Stiemsma (three blocks) and Bass (two blocks) combined to log all five blocked shots for Boston. Philly had just one blocked shot, by Brand.
Quote of the Night
Brandon Bass on coming to the playoff podium for the first time in his career: "Yeah, man, this is the first time for a lot of things for me. And I’m grateful! You know, that’s why you see all these beads (of sweat) on my forehead, because I’m nervous. But I’m grateful."