The Celtics rode great play from Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo and came away with their third straight win, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 96-86.
Boston shot well throughout the game, but 12 first half turnovers kepts the game close. The Celtics controlled the action for most of the game, except for a few flurries by Andre Iguodala, who had 14 points and 9 assists, and Louis Williams, who led Philadelphia with 22 points.
Playing one of his most complete games since returning from injury, Garnett lead the way for the Celtics with 22 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assist, and three steals. Slowly but surely, Garnett is regaining his lateral quickness and, once again, becoming a disruptive force on defense. Offensively, Garnett was getting out on the fast-break and finishing lay-ups. When healthy, Garnett can beat any big man downcourt.
Rondo had another great game – the kind to which Celtics fans are becoming accostomed. He had 16 points and 11 assists and,at times, made Philadelphia’s defense look foolish. Rondo’s game just keeps getting better: there is not a point guard in the league who can stay in front of him, and he’s starting to trust himself completely.
Allen hit only one of three three-point field goals attempted, but continued his post-all star break hot streak , hitting 7 of 14 field goals and scoring 16 points. Allen remains a constant three-point threat and, even on off days, draws defenders away from the basket leaving the lane open for Garnett and others. Tonight, Allen hit the short ones and really took the load off Rondo and KG. When Allen is on, the Celtics are a completely different team.
With another convincing win, the Celtics are seemingly getting hot at just the right time. But momentum can be fickle.
A few wins in June and the hysteria is laughable overkill from short-sighted analysts. A few losses in June, and the pundits were right all along.
For now, Boston focuses- or doesn’t focus- on the next opponent: The Washington Wizards on Sunday at 8 PM.