Thursday, January 30, 2014

76ers 95 - Celtics 94: Philly stun the C's on a buzzer beater at the Garden

Boston – The 76ers came into TD Garden Wednesday night last in the league in points allowed (110 PPG) with a 14-31 record, and won the game on an Evan Turner seven foot shot in the closing seconds to hand Boston a 95-94 loss.
Celtics, 15-32, have lost four straight games.

Philadelphia was trailing by one when rookie Michael Carter-Williams grabbed a rebound after a Kris Humphries missed jumper with 12 seconds remaining and gave the ball to Turner just past midcourt. A switch caused the much shorter Bayless to pick up the 6’7 small forward; Turner got the green light to drive into the lane.

“I saw Jerryd Bayless switch on to me as opposed to Jeff Green, so I knew I had a little bit of an advantage,” explained the hero of the game afterwards. “The win is huge for the team’s confidence. We pulled through and came back from giving up a lead.”
It was the 76ers’ third win in 13 games. Spencer Hawes led the way with 20 points, tying a career high with four three pointers.

Turner had 16 points and eight assists, Thaddeus Young added 16 points.
“Evan Turner has a history of doing that in those situations,” said Brad Stevens. “That’s why I thought he’d shoot it.”
Jared Sullinger led Boston with 24 points and 17 rebounds but went 9-of-25 from the field.

Jeff Green finished with 18 points (13 of them came in the first half) on 5-of-18 shooting, while Kris Humphries added 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds off the bench. It was the Celtics’ 19th loss in 22 games. Coach Stevens spoke briefly about Sully and his inside presence.
“He played his best game in a while but he still didn’t shoot it the way he’s used to shooting it,” Stevens said. “[With] that said, we have to have great performances to win.”
The Celtics were down by as many as 18 in the second quarter, but at intermission, Boston only trailed 53-47. By the start of the fourth quarter the 76ers led 71-74 and the Celtics went on a 15-4 run to take the lead 86-78, with four minutes into the final frame.
Two 3-pointers by Chris Johnson, who continues to be one of the few bright spots in the last few games, and one 3-pointer by Jeff Green had the home team in the driver’s seat, or at least that’s what they thought. Philly went on a 12-4 run of their own; tying the game at 90 apiece on back-to-back dunks by James Anderson and Young.
The next two minutes consisted of both teams struggling from the free throw line as Bayless missed two freebies for the Celtics, Young missed two, and Carter-Williams missed three in a row before sinking one, tying the game at 92 with 1:01 left to go in the quarter.
Humphries put Boston up by two after he tipped in Sully’s missed layup with 42 seconds to go. Once again Philly missed another chance to tie the game when Turner went 1-for-2 from the charity stripe, cutting their deficit 94-93. Bayless rebounded on the second missed attempt, and passed to Humphries as he tried to put the game away but he missed his jumper. The 76ers earned its final shot without calling a timeout; a friendly bounce ended the game, leaving the Garden crowd stunned.
Boston will have the next four days off to try and bounce back when the Orlando Magic comes to town on Sunday. It will be the final meeting of the season between the two teams, Celtics lead the season series 2-1. It will be another matinee before the ‘big game’; tip-off is at 1:00 PM.

Game Notes:
Once again Boston shot below 40 percent for the night (36.8%) while Philadelphia shot 43 percent. The Celtics went 25-30 from the free throw line while the 76ers made 14-25. The C’s coughed up 17 turnovers and Philly only committed 10. Avery Bradley missed his fifth game with a sprained right ankle, it’s been reported that he should be back Sunday versus Orlando.

Joel Pavón

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