The Philadelphia Sixers (11-8) have had many down-to-the-wire games and tonight was no different. They defeated their division rival, the Boston Celtics (10-9), 95-94 thanks to a late bucket by Evan Turner.
The Sixers did not play their best, but they were able to get the job done against one of the conference’s better teams. Lets take a look at what the Sixers did to come out with a win:
The Sixers were steller on the boards led by Thaddeus Young with 12. Lavoy Allen and Evan Turner combined for 21 with 11 and 10 respectively. Thad Young had 8 offensive rebounds and the Sixers had 17 as a team. They also out-rebounded the Celtics by 1 (54-53). Coming into the game, Philadelphia was 22nd in rebounding, averaging 40.8 per game. Tonight’s 54 was a big boost for the team especially against a team with an elite rebounder like KG.
Boston was surprisingly led on the boards by point guard Rajan Rondo. He also had a triple double with 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 14 assists. Kevin Garnett had 10 rebounds and Jeff Green had 8. It really seems like the Sixers cannot box out opposing team’s best players. Garnett’s 10-rebound performance managed to be over-shadowed Rondo’s 13. Still, it was nice for the Sixers to actually win the battle on the boards and not give up too many second-chance opportunities.
Philadelphia played well defensively, causing 18 Celtic turnovers. 5 of their turnovers came from 3-time NBA All Star Rajon Rondo. The Sixers forced Paul Pierce to shoot 9-24 and Jason Terry shot 1-12. Rondo’s 8-14 and Garnett’s 7-11 is what helped them reach their field goal percentage of 43.
The Sixers did not do much better offensively. The Celtics played good defense, but they did not force enough turnovers. The Sixers shot 37% from the field 18% from behind the arc. Their shots were not falling and they did not spread the ball around well with only 19 assists led by Evan Turner’s 5.
Lavoy Allen made a significant impact on this game in several different ways. The 6’8 power forward finds himself playing center with Spencer Hawes on the bench. Usually this can be nightmarish for the Sixers on the rebounding end, but Allen stepped up to the plate and grabbed 11 rebounds. Allen also had 8 points and was more productive than usual tonight for the Sixers.
Player of the Game: Evan Turner (PHI)
Evan Turner played a huge role tonigh,t especially with his game-winning shot with a little less than 3 seconds left in the game. Turner had double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds. While he struggled from the field (10-26), it was nice to see him sink a couple of outside shots in the second half. This performance continues a string of strong performances from the former No. 2 overall pick.