The Celtics fall to aggressive Philadelphia in heartstopping thriller at the Garden.

sixers_celtics

The 1st quarter started with back to back baskets by the 76ers in the paint before Bass started us off with a slam. Jeff Green began the game very aggressively by getting to the line on the next Boston possession, tying the game at 4. Sullinger got 4 off his 24 to cap off an 8-0 Boston blitz. The 76ers answered with a 6-0 run before Sullinger stopped the drought of 2:45. Jeff Green scored 8 straight Celtics points including a sick slam dunk before KO answered the 76ers’ free throws with a 3 to knot things up with 2:30 to play. Jeff Green drained a 3 and as time had expired he hit another from beyond half court which unfortunately was after the buzzer, giving the Celtics a 26-23 lead at the end of 1 & Green 13 first quarter points.

The second quarter didn’t start well at all for Boston as Philadelphia went on a 10-0 run starting with back to back 3’s by Spencer Hawes & ending with a dunk by Dedmon to give the Sixers a 33-26 lead. Bass went in aggressive and got to the stripe, making both & Sullinger had to have 3 goes at it before he got it to fall as the Celtics had cut the deficit to 3 with 8 minutes remaining in the half. Young hit a 3, Bass and Wallace split some free throws as the 76ers went on another quick spurt of 12-2 run to get a 48-34 lead with under 4 left. Bayless shook off his cold start and drained 2 baskets in a row, one being a 3 & Hump nailed a jumper followed by 2 free throws as Boston cut it to 5 with 1:40 remaining. Sullinger finished his strong half with 4 straight points to give him 12 points & 7 rebounds at the half as the Celtics trailed by 6.

The second half started with an 8-3 Sixers run to push the lead to 11 and things didn’t look promising for the C’s before Sullinger & Bass went on an 8-0 run to make it a 3 point game. Both teams exchanged baskets for a while before Hawes drained a 3, Hump split a pair and Turner hit a jumper as the 76ers pushed it back to 7. Humphries then went on to score 6 of the next 8 points including a dunk & Kelly Olynyk followed a Pressey miss to make it a 1 point game. Wroten answered with another point in the paint for the Sixers as they took a 3 point lead into the final frame leading 74-71.

The 4th started just how the Celtics needed it to be, with young gun Chris Johnson draining a 3 & Pressey hitting a bank shot to give Boston a 2 point lead. Wroten hit a tough shot to tie things back up before Green connected on a 3, giving him his first points since the 1st quarter. Sullinger hit a hook shot & Chris Johnson nailed another 3 as the Celtics went on an 8-2 run to lead by 6 with 9:20 left. After the 76ers’ timeout both teams struggled scoring with multiple opportunities being missed, before Sullinger got a layup to fall off CJ’s 5th dime. Anderson started a quick 8-2 76ers run with a 3 to cut the deficit to 86-88 with around 5:30 left. Jeff Green hit a tough fadeaway jumper before Anderson slammed one down & Young followed with another Philadelphia slam not long after to tie the game at 90 apiece with 4 minutes left. Sullinger turned up the hustle again grabbing 3 straight offensive rebounds before being fouled & hitting 2 clutch free throws to give the Celtics a 2 point lead. Bass blocked Hawes and Sullinger grabbed his 15th rebound as Boston were looking to make it a 2 possession game as Jeff Green got double teamed and turned it over. Bayless picked up his 4th foul at the other end as Carter-Williams splits the free throws, Sullinger grabbed the second miss and pushed it to Green who missed the jumper. The 76ers failed to convert to take the lead and Bayless got fouled and headed to the line to make it a 3 point ball game, Bayless missed both & then Sullinger fouled Young who also missed both. The Celtics had possession up 1 with 1:23 left. Sullinger couldn’t convert the tough jumper & then committed a very bad 5th foul that put MCW to the line & he split them to tie the game at 92. Green missed a fadeaway before more hustle by the Celtics on the boards led to Hump tipping the ball home with 42 ticks left & a 2 point Boston lead. Out of the timeout Bass was called for a foul and Evan Turner missed 1 at the line to give the Celtics the ball and a 1 point lead with 34.8 left. The 76ers didn’t foul & Hump got the look he wanted but it didn’t fall. Carter-Williams pushed the ball before palming it right in front of the official for a no call, gave it up to Evan Turner who drove & hit the buzzer beating shot to give the Philadelphia 76ers a 95-94 win in Boston.

Video highlights:

Best performances:

  1. Jared Sullinger 24 points & 17 rebounds
  2. Jeff Green 18 points , 6 rebounds & 4 assists
  3. Kris Humphries 13 points (3-5 shooting, 7-8 from the line) & 9 rebounds.
  4. Brandon Bass 11 points & 5 rebounds.
  5. Bayless 10 points & 4 rebounds

Notable statistics:

  • The Celtics won the rebound battle 59-40 but only had one more FGA due to +8 in turnovers.
  • The 76ers won the points in the paint 58-40
  • The 76ers missed 11 free throws (14-25)

Marc D’Amico on Chris Johnson’s contract as many people have been quite excited by his play:

“With the trade deadline being about three weeks away, the Celtics need to make sure they’re in position to complete any trades that they’re interested in. In other words, they may need roster spots open to complete some trades (say, one where you send out two players and take back four). And that is not to say that the Celtics are sure to make any deals just saying there’s more to it than just how Johnson is playing.”

Let me know your thoughts on if Chris Johnson should get a longer contract.

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