BOSTON (AP) _ Evan Turner made the go-ahead layup with 40.4
seconds left and Philadelphia held off Boston the rest of the way
with six straight free throws as the 76ers evened the second-round
Eastern Conference series with an 82-81 victory Monday night.
Turner finished with 10 points, including his layup that put the
Sixers up 76-75. He added two free throws with 12 seconds to go.
Jrue Holiday scored 18 points and Andre Iguodala added 13
points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Sixers, who blew a
10-point lead in the fourth quarter as the Celtics won Game 1.
Kevin Garnett had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Ray Allen scored
17 points for the Celtics.
Game 3 is Wednesday in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia won its first playoff game in Boston since 1982
despite committing a playoff-high 19 turnovers and getting
Spencer Hawes finished with eight points and 10 rebounds and
Lavoy Allen scored 10 points for the Sixers.
Brandon Bass had 12 points for the Celtics, who couldn’t quite
repeat their comeback in the series opener. The Sixers led by 10
points early in the fourth quarter of Game 1 before the Celtics
rallied for a 92-91 victory.
It was starting to look familiar for Philadelphia on Monday, but
the Sixers were able to hold off the Celtics down the stretch in a
Philadelphia led 57-49 entering the fourth, but Boston tied it
twice before going up 72-71 on Avery Bradley’s 3-pointer, setting
off a series of shots from beyond the arc.
Holiday answered with a 3 for the Sixers, then Ray Allen got the
lead right back for the Celtics on a 3-pointer with 1:40 left. The
Celtics had a chance to extend the lead after forcing the Sixers
into a 24-second shot clock violation, but Rondo missed a shot and
Iguodala got the rebound, leading to Turner’s layup to put the
Sixers up 76-75 with 40.4 seconds to go.
Rondo and Allen both missed shots that would have put Boston
ahead, then Rondo fouled Turner with 14.4 seconds left as the shot
clock was winding down.
The Celtics fouled Turner again with 12 seconds and he hit both
free throws to extend the lead to 78-76.
Fans grew restless as the second half opened with sloppy, choppy
play by both teams. Boston led 38-36 at halftime and nearly 7
minutes into the third quarter the score was just 43-41 with the
Celtics still ahead.
When the shots finally started falling, they were all for
Philadelphia. The Sixers scored 14 straight points, turning a 47-43
deficit into a 57-47 lead in the final minute of the period. Boston
went without a point for 4:40, finally scoring when Pierce made two
free throws with 2.4 seconds left in the period.
The Celtics committed seven turnovers during the quarter and
made just 4 of 17 shots.
Notes: The Celtics scored the first nine points. … Boston made
its first five shots, not missing until Hawes blocked Bradley’s
attempt 3:24 into the game. … Rondo had eight assists in the
first half, including alley-oop setups for Greg Stiemsma and Ryan
Hollins, who had to reach behind his head for the pass but still
corralled it for the two-handed dunk to put the Celtics up 33-29.
… Holiday led Philadelphia with 13 points in the first half. He
was the only Sixer to score in double figures in the first two
periods. Hawes was the next closest with six points. … The Sixers
had lost their last seven playoff games in Boston, last winning on
May 23, 1982, in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)