Sixers on Brink of Elimination Following Game 5 Loss

Doug Collins and the Sixers will have to win two games in a row to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Philadelphia 76ers’ playoff run is now just one loss away from being over. The Boston Celtics took a 3-2 series lead with a 101-85 win last night in Boston. The game followed the trend of the majority of the contests in this series. One team led for the majority of the game (Sixers), while the other found a way to piece it together in the second half en route to the win (Celtics). The Sixers will now have to win two consecutive games to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Last night’s contest was clearly a tale of two halves. The Sixers never outright dominated Boston, but they controlled the pace of the game in the first half and seemed to have a solid rhythm going that would allow them to be in the game down the stretch. Boston trailed 50-47 at the half and the Sixers were sticking to their game plan; beat the Celtics on the boards and get out and run.

Sixers’ minority owner, Will Smith, along with wife Jada Pinkett-Smith, were on hand in Boston seen here with actor, Chris Rock.

The third quarter looked nothing like the first half for Doug Collins and his troops. Boston jumped out on the Sixers just minutes into the half and their offense seemed to hit its stride. The boost came from their starting power forward, Brandon Bass. Bass slammed home dunk after dunk in the third. He dropped 27 points for the game, 18 of which came in the third. The Sixers, as a team, only scored 16 in the third and lost the quarter by 12.

Throughout the series, the team that has won the third quarter, has won each game and Boston seemed well aware of how important that fact was. They defended better and moved the ball around seamlessly, making the Sixers defense look lethargic and gassed. The Sixers offense went on another cold spell. They attacked the rim throughout the quarter but failed to get calls that could result in foul shots. Plays like that tend to be crucial because they could have slowed Boston’s momentum, but sometimes the whistle doesn’t go your way. The Sixers only took 16 free throw attempts (36 in game 4) in the game to Boston’s 33. The odd disparity led to a late game technical foul for Collins.

Brandon Bass led the way for the Celtics with 27 points, 18 of which came in the third quarter.

Boston was led by Bass’ 27 points. He also chipped in six rebounds and two blocked shots. Kevin Garnett scored 20 points and Paul Pierce had 16. Rajon Rondo recorded another double-double with 13 points and 14 assists.

The Sixers were led by Elton Brand who had 19 points. He came to life following some lackluster games in this series, and a midst some calling for his benching. Lavoy Allen scored 12 points but was unable to really help on the defensive end as he has this series. Evan Turner recorded a double-double with 11 points and ten rebounds.

The Sixers will now look to muster up some Passion, Intensity and Pride. If they fail to do so, the next game could be their last.

Game 6 is Wednesday night at 8pm. 

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