Delonte West missed the game due to back spasms and Shaquille O’Neal sat out because of a mild hip injury. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo received a night off to rest.
Despite playing without their top six players, the Celtics led 47-46 at halftime behind the sound play of Nate Robinson and Glen Davis.Nate Robinson led all scorers with 26 points, while adding eight assists and five rebounds. Glen Davis finished with 14 points, five rebounds, and at least two charges taken.
Starting in place of Shaq, Jermaine O’Neal,who did not play in the Celtics first two preseason games because of a hamstring injury, was rusty offensively (1-6, 2 points), but grabbed 12 rebounds, blocked a shot, and took a charge of his own.
In the second half, the energy level was noticeably lower and the Celtics reserves had trouble scoring. Philadelphia’s Jason Kapono hit four three-pointers, while Marreese Speights controlled the paint, adding 19 points.
With the starters resting, end-of-the-bench players were given opportunities to play and play a lot.
Rookie Watch Rookie Avery Bradley played his first minutes as a Celtic, finally having recovered from offseason ankle surgery. Bradley lived up to the hype defensively, hounding Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams with great on-ball defense, but he looked far from ready to contribute offensively. Bradley was just 1-6 from the floor and looked uncomfortable leading the Celtics offense. Luke Harangody was a bright spot for Boston’s offense, scoring eight consecutive points during a stretch in the second quarter. Semih Erden played a bland 22 minutes, producing just 4 points and 2 rebounds.
Battle for the 15th spot Von Wafer scored the first basket of the game–his first points as a Celtic–and tallied 11 unassuming points in 39 minutes of action. He was once again outplayed by camp invitee, Stephane Lasme, who ably guarded Andre Iguodala much of the night. Lasme’s stat line was uninspiring (6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks), but his energy, effort, and basketball IQ were on full display.
Technically Speaking Five technical fouls were handed out by the trigger-happy officials who have been given carte blanche to blow the whistle at any twitch, whisper, or gesture. For the Boston Celtics, Nate Robinson and Jermaine O’Neal received technical fouls for the Celtics, while, Marreese Speights, Jrue Holiday and coach Doug Collins were T’ed up for the 76ers.