Sixers Edge Out Celtics to tie Series

Andre Iguodala recorded 13 points, seven assists, and six rebounds to lead the Sixers to a Game 2 win.

The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Boston Celtics last night, 82-81 to tie the series at a game a piece. The Celtics managed to edge out the Sixers by the same margin in the series opener. The Sixers got their revenge last night and head back to Philly for Game 3 with home-court advantage on their side. The Sixers went to Boston, took a game, and now return to the Wells Fargo Center where they have yet to lose in these playoffs.

BLS SERIES KEYS

Last night’s game wasn’t pretty, but ugly games have become a trend for the Sixers throughout this postseason. They have relied on staunch defense and timely buckets to keep them in games and both of those things were on full display last night. The Celtics averaged 91 ppg during the regular season and the Sixers did a good job of keeping them off that number in Game 2.

The Sixers received another stellar defensive performance from Andre Iguodala. Iguodala has emerged as a true leader throughout these playoff games. He has stepped up to the plate and his teammates are rallying behind him and following his lead. He set the tone on the defensive side of the ball. He held Paul Pierce to just seven points on 2-9 shooting. He made every shot difficult for Pierce who finished the regular season averaging just over 19 ppg.

Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce combined for 39 points in Game 2 after combining for 55 points in Game 1.

Iguodala perhaps had the defensive play of the night when he pursued Pierce around a Kevin Garnett screen with Boston down three in the final seconds. Iguodala’s pursuit drew a moving screen violation on Garnett. Celtics’ coach Doc Rivers was not convinced by the call made against Garnett at that critical juncture of the game. “I was not fond of it. At all. I think Kevin got three off-the-ball offensive fouls, so clearly it looked like they were looking for it all night and they got three of them,” said Rivers in his post-game press conference. “Listen, if you’re going to tell me that Kevin was the only one setting moving picks tonight then I’ll live with it. But he clearly was not the only one.”

Kevin Garnett commended the official for making the call but said that he feels that players have to decide the game down the stretch, not officials. GOOD CALL? Judge it for yourself: VIDEO

The Sixers also received a strong defensive game from a somewhat unlikely source. Temple product, Lavoy Allen, played a fantastic game guarding Garnett. The Celtics’ big man dropped 29 points on the Sixers in Game 1, but was held to just 15 points last night, three of which came on a three at the buzzer that was unguarded and meant nothing with Boston down four. Evan Turner was not surprised with Allen’s play against Garnett. “He is a tough cat,” Turner said. “He’s hard to move. Every time you bump into him it feels like your body gets a headache.”

Lavoy Allen (10 points) recorded his fourth double-digit game of the postseason in Game 2 after recording only three during the regular season.

Allen also chipped in on the offensive end scoring ten points on 4-7 shooting while grabbing eight rebounds. Allen played 30 minutes.

The Sixers were balanced last night. They had four players in double figures (Iguodala, Allen, Turner, Holiday) led by Jrue Holiday with 18. Evan Turner found his way to double figures by knocking down two big free throws with the game on the line in the final seconds. Turner, Lou Williams, and Jodie Meeks were a combined 6-6 from the line in the final seconds as Boston fouled in desperation. The shots were the first foul shots of the night for each member of the trio.

Sixers Head Coach Doug Collins is pleased with what his guys are getting out of this unlikely playoff run. “They’re really becoming men. I’m so proud of them,” Collins said after the win. “You play a game like this, it’s worth like 10 regular-season games’ worth of experience. Our guys are growing up here, in the Boston Garden, playing the Celtics and the tremendous tradition.”

The Sixers were able to pick up their first playoff win in Boston since 1982. They continued to display poise down the stretch and will look to continue that Wednesday night in Game 3.

 

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