|Photo: Getty Images
Boston - The Celtics looked poised to run the 76ers out of the TD Garden on Friday night when they jump out to 26-point lead in the first half. Despite a Sixers rally in the fourth quarter, the C's held it together to get their third straight victory in a, 107-97, win.
Jared Sullinger who returned to the starting lineup after being late twice this week; led all scorers with 22 points (9-of-18 shooting), 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Six-Celtics players finished in double-figures including Avery Bradley who scored 18 on the night. Tyler Zeller (9 rebounds) and Marcus Thornton both added 16 points apiece off the bench, while Brandon Bass chipped in with 13.
Luc Mbah a Moute led Philly with 18 points. Robert Covington finished with 16 and K.J. McDaniels added 15 for the Sixers who are now 11-40 on the season. They were also playing without Massachusetts native; Michael Carter Williams.
The Celtics jumped out to a 29-15 lead over Philadelphia in the first quarter. The C's shot nearly 55-percent and out-rebounded the Sixers 26-16 to be up 60-42 by halftime. The second half began the same way for Boston as they continue to kept the foot on the gas to push the score 70-49.
The 76ers didn't give in when the C's decided to stop moving the ball and began missing long jumpers, forcing the visiting team to take advantage all the way through a 20-5 run to cut the Celtics deficit 75-69 to end the third quarter.
|Photo: Getty Images
"We played 14, 16 minutes of bad basketball," Brad Stevens said. "Yo go through so many of these situations in the year. I was happy with how we responded."
The C's continue to use the third quarter to either play catch up or let the other team back into ball games. They became too complaisant halfway through the quarter, almost bored even. The offense stop flowing and there was no execution, only jump shots and the Sixers were smart enough to capitalize on it. Boston has to find a way to keep their foot on an opponent's neck when up by more than 20-points. The only good thing to take away from this win is the fact Philly never took over when they made their multiple runs.
"You see how many leads we've blown early in the season. We're kind of use to it," said Sullinger. "We know how to respond and we responded well."
The Celtics (19-30) look to make it a season-high four wins in a row when they travel to Milwaukee on Saturday to take on the 27-23 Bucks. Tip-off is at 8:30 PM.
Boston only committed 10 turnovers (11 points) on the night to the Sixers' 17 (20 points). The C's shot 76-percent (19-25) from the free-throw line while the 76ers shot 48-percent (15-31). Celtics also out-rebounded Philadelphia 53-44. Tayshaun Prince missed he fourth straight game due to a hip-flexor, he is expected to travel with the team tomorrow. Gerald Wallace received a healthy DNP on Friday.
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