The Celtics had been dominating Friday night’s matchup with the 76ers from the opening tip, but Philadelphia wouldn’t quit. The Sixers cut Boston’s 21-point lead with 4:36 left in the third quarter all the way down to eight with 1:05 left in the frame.
Doc Rivers called for a timeout and needed a savior to turn things around. There was no question where he was going to turn. The man for the job goes by two letters: KG.
Kevin Garnett had been on fire all night long and he continued his fantastic play when he replaced Chris Wilcox during that timeout. He immediately drained a fadeaway jumper from 17 feet out and then nailed a technical free throw after the Sixers committed a defensive three-second violation. The Big Ticket found Jeff Green for an uncontested layup on the ensuing possession to put Boston ahead 70-57.
The game was in the balance when Garnett checked in with 1:05 remaining in the third, but KG made sure that the win was in Boston’s back pocket by the time the quarter was over. The Celtics’ lead never dropped below 13 points after he spurred that 5-0 run.
Key Box Score Line
It’s not often that a player who, statistically speaking, did nothing but score the basketball fills our Key Box Score Line. Tonight is an exception.
Kevin Garnett led the Celtics Saturday night with 19 points. He was literally unstoppable at the offensive end, connecting on nine of his 11 field goal attempts. Garnett created space over and over so that he could fire up and connect on jumper after jumper. And did we mention that he did this in just 23:26 of playing time? Impressive.
There’s no contesting KG’s greatness tonight. His sweet jumper carried the C’s to victory.
Box Score Nuggets
- Each team's starting small forward, Paul Pierce of the C's and Evan Turner of the Sixers, scored 13 points.
- After combining for more than 100 rebounds Friday night, the teams combined for just 68 tonight.
- Rajon Rondo narrowly missed his second consecutive triple-double with seven points, nine rebounds and 11 assists.
- Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 19 points on 9-for-11 shooting.
- Jeff Green led all reserves with 16 points on 7-for-12 shooting.
- Pierce's nine assists were more than any Sixers player.
- Boston led from start to finish, pulling ahead by as many as 21 points.
- Boston (53.3 percent) outshot Philly (39.2 percent) by 14.1 percent.
- Each team made four 3-pointers.
- Philadelphia's 13 made free throws were more than Boston attempted (12).
- The teams combined to commit just 20 turnovers.
- Both teams scored 40 points in the paint and both scored 22 in the fourth quarter.
Quote of the Night
I'm being aggressive. Attacking the rim. Trying to get to the free-throw line and making plays. Jeff Green on the key to his recent success