Ford Keys to the Game: 76ers 88, Celtics 79

Ford Keys to the Game

76ers 88, Celtics 79

Game Highlights

Photo of the Game

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo sets up one of his patented fake-behind-the-back passes during Sunday night's loss to Philadelphia.
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty

Key Moment

When you're on the wrong end of a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter, you're usually going to wind up on the wrong side of the scoreboard when the game is over. The Celtics learned all about that tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers.

The two teams battled closely throughout the first three quarters of tonight's game, with neither team pulling ahead of the other by more than 10 points. In fact, the first three quarters featured at least a nine-point lead for each team, yet neither could stretch their respective lead out and take control of the game. That is, until the Sixers took complete control in the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia held onto a 68-66 lead with 10:16 remaining after Jeff Green made two free throws for the C's. The Sixers upped their aggression immediately after those free throws and wound up getting to the line themselves. Lavoy Allen hit two shots from the charity stripe and then Nick Young tacked one on 33 seconds later to give Philly a 71-66 lead with 9:27 remaining in the game. Young, who scored 15 points off of the bench for the Sixers, then drilled a jumper shortly thereafter to put his team ahead by seven points.

The game was still within striking distance for Boston but Doc Rivers decided to call off the dogs at that point. Kevin Garnett was replaced by Micah Downs and then Courtney Lee was replaced by Rob Kurz.

With most of Boston's key players on the bench, Philadelphia took advantage and completed their 12-0 run with a free throw and a 3 from Dorell Wright, and then a 3-pointer from Young. That run put the Sixers ahead 80-66 with 5:45 remaining in the contest and the C's never made it a game again from that point on.

Key Box Score Line

If you haven't been paying attention to the Celtics during the preseason, we have a newsflash for you: Jeff Green is poised to have a really good season.

Green has played fantastic basketball for the Celtics since the very beginning of the preseason and he continued to deliver tonight. He finished with his first double-double of the preseason with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Those 10 boards led the game, and Green also captured a game-high four blocked shots in just more than 34 minutes of action. His four blocks matched the output of Philadelphia's entire team.

It really seems as if the reins have been taken off of Green and he is running freely. He has been consistent throughout the preseason and he capped it all off with a stellar performance against the 76ers. Now it's time to see if he can maintain this level of play when the real games begin next week.

Box Score Nuggets

  • The Celtics did not score more than 21 points in any of the four quarters.
  • Five Celtics scored at least 10 points but none scored more than 12.
  • Jeff Green (12 points, 10 boards) and Rajon Rondo (12 points, 10 assists) each notched a 12-and-10 double-double.
  • Green blocked a game-high four shots, matching the amount of blocks the Sixers logged as a team.
  • Dorell Wright scored a game-high 20 points off the bench for Philadelphia.
  • Jrue Holiday stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
  • The Celtics committed 21 turnovers compared to just 18 assists.
  • Lavoy Allen fouled out of the game in just 16:30 of playing time.
  • Kevin Garnett (plus-two), Fab Melo (plus-two)and Rondo (plus-one) were the only Celtics to finish with a positive plus/minus rating.
  • Boston scored 44 points in the paint, thanks in large part to 13 fast break points.
  • Neither team finished with more than 38 rebounds in the game.

Quote of the Night

Doc Rivers on Jeff Green's evolution: "He’s comfortable in his game. He understands how to score, how he can score through our offense. You know, the other part – he’s happy, honestly. The guys like him, he likes them, he’s comfortable here now. I think last year even though he didn’t play it probably did a world of good for him just being around the guys, and they accepted him. I think all that helped him. And he’s got a chance to be just terrific."