The Sixers went to Boston on Sunday evening, looking to rebound from a tough home loss to Orlando. The Celtics, who are o-2 against the Sixers, needed a victory to bolster their lead in the Atlantic Division. The Celtics had a two game lead over the 76ers (29-27). The Sixers, who had lost 3 straight games, got whipped by the senior citizens of Boston, 103-79.
The opening minutes of the first quarter saw a tight game, with the two teams trading buckets. A Paul Pierce layup put the Celtics up 5, 23-18. They closed out the first quarter with a 25-22 lead.
The second quarter is where Boston blew this game wide open. The Sixers were hanging in the game, down 31-24, when Ray Allen sunk a three pointer to put the Celtics up 10, leading to a Sixers time out. Lou Williams responded with two free throws, only to see the NBA’s best three-point shooter bang out another one from beyond the arc. After this, Avery Bradley made two free throws, and then a KG and-1 put Boston up 42-26 midway through the period.
After two straight minutes of poor offensive basketball by both teams, Thaddeus Young got called for a defensive 3-second violation, leading to a Garnett technical free throw and a Bradley jumper, pushing the lead to an insurmountable 19. The Celtics closed out the half with a 14-point lead, 50-36, as Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala kept them in it.
Now, for most teams, the third quarter is notorious because that is when the Sixers have pulled away. As of late, however, that has not been the case.
Paul Pierce hit a three in the early stages of the third quarter to put the Celtics back up 19, 57-38, after a couple of jumpers by Garnett. This was followed by a pair of Garnett free throws and a Brandon Bass mid-range jumper to put the Celtics up, 61-38. Bradley continued the rampage with another three, stretching the lead to 26.
With 4:18 left in the quarter, Rajon Rondo swooshed a fade away at the shot clock buzzer with Young and Iguodala in his face, finishing off the Sixers. With 3:45 to play in the quarter, “The Truth” (a.k.a Pierce) put down another long ball to put the Celtics up 28. They never looked back.
The fourth was merely the Celtics closing out the game. With 6:52 left in the fourth, Sasha Pavlovic swooshed a wing three to ice the game.
Nikola Vucevic was one of the only bright spots, coming off the bench to score 14 points and grab 13 rebounds on 6-10 shooting. Iguodala was decent as well, scoring 13 on 6-12 FG and adding 3 steals.
The Celtics lengthened their lead to 3 games with the rout.