Notebook: Celtics 92, 76ers 78



Posted Dec 9, 2012 12:00 AM

By Brian Robb, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Kevin Garnett had a team-high 19 points as the Boston Celtics rode a dominant defensive first half to a 92-78 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. Jeff Green added 16 points off the bench for Boston, but it was the C's team defense that limited the Sixers to a mere 28 first-half points that allowed Boston to open up a 20-point halftime lead and never looked back. Thaddeus Young had a game-high 22 points for the visitors.


QUOTABLE: "I love the way we responded tonight. A lot of guys were mad for the fact we lost yesterday [to the Sixers[ and we wanted to take it out on them today. We came up with something to prove."
-- Paul Pierce.

THE STAT: The Sixers struggled to muster any offense in the first half against an inspired Celtics defense, shooting a paltry 23.1 percent before intermission. Their 28 first half points were also a season low.


TURNING POINT: After a back and forth start to the second quarter, the Celtics broke the game opened over a six-minute stretch with a 15-4 run behind much of the team's second unit, giving Boston their biggest lead of the night at 21. The Sixers never recovered.


HOT: Garnett -- The Sixers had no answer all weekend for the 6'11'' center on the offensive end. One night after going 7-for-11 against Philadelphia in a one-point loss, Garnett was even better tonight, hitting 9-of-11 shots Saturday night. In three games against the Sixers this year, the big man has shot a scorching 68 percent from the field.


NOT: Jrue Holiday -- Philadelphia's leading scorer helped dig his team into a major offensive hole early, going 2-for-9 with two turnovers in the first half, as the Sixers found themselves facing a 20-point deficit heading into the locker room. Holiday finished with just 11 points, seven below his season average.


FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Rajon Rondo -- One night after posting his first triple-double of the young season, the All-Star point guard flirted with the feat again against Philadelphia, posting seven points, nine rebounds and 11 assists in 36 minutes.


QUOTABLE II: "Our defense is why we won. I thought first half, going zone, ma and going back and forth was good for us. When you play defense like that, you win games."
-- Boston coach Doc Rivers.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Hometown star Mark Wahlberg watched Boston's dominating effort from courtside, sporting Celtics green. Patriots safety Patrick Chung also took in the contest courtside with his young son.

ROOKIE WATCH: Jared Sullinger -- The 20-year-old continues to be a bright spot off Boston's bench, grabbing a team-high nine rebounds Saturday night in just 22 minutes of action.


NOTABLE: Rivers spent much of the day prior to the game in Wisconsin attending the funeral of his former coach and mentor Rick Majerus. Garnett had zero rebounds in a game for the first time in his career since January 21, 1997. He played 35 minutes in that contest for Minnesota in a loss against the Raptors. Boston and Philadelphia split the team's home-and-home weekend series. The Sixers now lead the season series 2-1 against their Atlantic Division rivals.


UP NEXT: For Philadelphia, Monday vs. Detroit, Wednesday vs. Chicago, Friday @ Indiana. For Boston, Wednesday vs. Dallas, Friday @ Houston, Saturday @ San Antonio.