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Philadelphia- There's nothing like playing the 76ers to regain some confidence after going through a three-game skid. The Boston Celtics came into the Wells Fargo Center with one mission, to get back on track as soon as possible. Kelly Olynyk got the message loud and clear as he finished the night with a career-high 30 points, and helped the C's get over the hump in a 105-87 victory on the road.
"I talked to coach a couple of days ago," Olynyk said, "and he said, `We need you to be aggressive. You need to stay aggressive. That's when you're at your best. That's when you're helping us.' That's something I'm really focusing on and really been working on dialing in my shot and getting in a groove and it's feeling good."
Olynyk, who hasn't started since November 30, also grabbed nine rebounds in his 31 minutes off the bench on Monday night. The second year forward led all scorers as he shot 12-17 from the field including going 3-5 from 3-point range in a much needed win for the Boston.
Brad Stevens knows what Olynyk is very capable of in this league.
"You need him to be aggressive every night," said the Celtics coach. "We need him to make shots. Our team depends on it. He's a skill guy who can stretch the floor and we need him to do that."
Avery Bradley returned to the starting lineup after missing Friday night's loss against the Knicks due to illness, finished with 15 points. Brandon Bass chipped in with 14 points and five rebounds, while Evan Turner added 12 points and six assists, despite being boo'd every time he touched the ball by the Philly crowd. Five players ended up in double-figures for the Celtics who are now 8-14 on the season.
Nerlens Noel, who is a Malden, Massachusetts native, led the Sixers with 19 points (career-high) and eight rebounds. Robert Covington and Michael Carter Williams each scored 13 points for Philadelphia who are now 0-13 at home and 2-22 overall.
The Celtics started off the night missing their first nine straight field-goal attempts. Olynyk's 14-point first quarter, helped Boston go ahead 30-25 after the first 12 minutes. After a 13-point second quarter by the Sixers, the C's led 57-38 at halftime. Philadelphia never cut into the double-digit deficit the rest of the second half, giving the Celtics their eighth win of the season, and their second over the 76ers in less than a month.
|Photo: Getty Images
"What I want him to do is believe in himself the way we believe in him," said Stevens of Olynyk. "I think he's really good and think he could be a really good player. You want to (go from) being a player who's very capable of doing it and does it on multiple nights to a player that does it every single night."
The Celtics will head home to the TD Garden, when they take on the 10-17 Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. They look to make it two wins in a row when the game tips-off at 7:30.
Jared Sullinger and Rajon Rondo combined for 2 points on 1-9 shooting on Friday against New York. Both starters went 4-13 for 10 points, while Sullinger grabbed 11 rebounds in Monday's win. Boston shot 44 percent from the field to Philadelphia's 36 percent. Marcus Smart (achillies), Marcus Thornton (calf) and James Young (shoulder) did not suit up at the Wells Fargo Center. Thornton, and Young are projected to miss about two weeks of basketball. There is still no timetable on Smart's return who suffered the injury against the Knicks.
The last player to score 30 points off the bench for the Celtics was Xavier McDaniel (30 in 29 minutes) on February 28, 1993 against the Portland Trail Blazers.