Tuesday, April 15, 2014

76ers 113 – Celtics 108: C's come up short in Philly

Philadelphia - The Celtics were on a two-game winning streak coming into the Wells Fargo Center last night. The Sixers not only won just their 18-game, but also won the season series by beating Boston, 113-108.

Michael Carter-Williams led the home team with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Tony Wroten scored 20 points to give their home crowd a special treat for the last time in their rebuilding year.

Thaddeus Young added 15 points and Henry Sims chipped in win 13 points in the win.

“It was great to win at home,” said Carter-Williams. “It was great to end on a positive note.”

Kelly Olynyk, who got his second straight start; scored a career high 28 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Celtics. Jeff Green added 27 points, and Avery Bradley finished with 23 points.

Rajon Rondo returned from a sore shin and was two points away from his second triple-double of the season. He dished out 14 assists, and grabbed 11 rebounds and scoring eight points in the loss. Boston was without Jared Sullinger (left ankle sprain), Jerryd Bayless (hyper extended right knee) and Kris Humphries (sore right knee), who all sat out.

The Celtics opened the game with a 16-7 lead on five Rondo assists before he got elbowed by Thaddeus Young and headed to the locker room. The Sixers would go on to end the half on a 60-34 run which pushed the deficit to as many as 19, and a 67-50 lead at the break.

The Celtics’ captain did return and helped get the C’s back into it in the third. Chris Johnson’s consecutive 3’s cut the 76ers lead to two as part of a 14-3 run to end the quarter.

“We definitely got a lot to play for, and it showed tonight,” said Brandon Bass. “We could’ve laid down when we were down. We kept fighting and made it a game.”

Philly started the fourth quarter on a 11-4 run forcing the Celtics to make another comeback and once again getting within two several times, but never pulled even as time was running out.

Missed free throws by the Sixers gave the visitors hope, but after a Carter-Williams steal and pass to Wroten in the final minutes led to Wroten connecting on his two freebies to keep the 76ers ahead.

A series of turnovers by both teams gave Boston an opportunity to finally tie the ball game.

With 15 seconds remaining and down 111-108, and the ball in Rondo’s hand, he dribbled most of the clock out to find Chris Johnson in the corner as he hit a 3-pointer that would have forced overtime leaving 0.9 seconds on the clock but upon further review by the officials, it was ruled that Johnson had his heel out of bounds when he caught the pass.

Sixers’ ball, and the Sixers won after a seesaw battle in the final minute.

“That’s that, 76ers coach Brett Brown said. “His foot was out of bounds.”

After snapping a 13-game road-losing streak on Saturday night in Cleveland, Boston failed to beat Philadelphia on the final game away from the TD Garden. They look to end the season on a good note in their season finale; when they face the playoff bound Washington Wizards on Wednesday for fan night at home. Tip-off is at 7:30 PM.

Game Notes:
Philly outscored Boston in the first half paint 46-18. While the Sixers made 54-percent of their shots to the Celtics’ 47-percent. The C’s are the only team the 76ers have beaten more than once. It is unknown if Rondo, Sullinger or Humphries will play tomorrow night against the Wizards.

Joel Pavón

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