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They say winning ugly, and this was one of the ugliest wins you'll ever see. Not to discredit the Philadelphia 76ers victory, but neither team shot over 40% until the fourth quarter. This one was not pretty. In a game where field goals came at a premium, those in the final frame meant that much more. After the Boston Celtics came up big in the fourth on Saturday night, it was Philadelphia - led by Jrue Holiday's 18 points - holding on for an 82-81 win at the TD Garden to tie the series at 1-1 heading back to Philadelphia.

Ray Allen led Boston scorers with 17 points while Kevin Garnett was right behind with 15. Paul Pierce struggled mightily in this game, scoring seven points with five turnovers. Boston was out-rebounded 47-36 in this contest.

Despite a hot start, Boston looked flat. As Charles Barkley stated after the game, you can't fool around in playoff games because it will come back to bite you. That is exactly what happened to the Celtics tonight.

In the third quarter, both teams went nearly six minutes without scoring in a frame that was ugly for the ages. The Sixers finally started scoring and took a 10-point lead but the Celtics couldn't muster anything - scoring only 11 third quarter points to Philly's 21. At the end of the third, Boston was shooting 33.9% while the 76ers were shooting 39.7%.

The Celtics snapped their scoring skid in the fourth with two threes from the slumping Mickael Pietrus in less than a minute which helped the Celtics pull within two.

Boston tied the game with 4:33 in the game - and then finally took the lead back on an Avery Bradley three with 2:20 left, Jrue Holiday answered with a three and then Ray Allen answered with a triple on the other end to take the lead again. The Celtics failed to expand their one-point lead when Rajon Rondo missed a jumper with under a minute remaining and Evan Turner made them pay by making a driving layup with :40 seconds remaining to give Philly a one point lead that turned out to be for good. Turner was then intentionally fouled and made both shots at the line to give Phily the three-point advantage.

On the final possession, with the Celtics looking for a three-pointer to tie - Kevin Garnett was whistled for an offensive foul setting a screen with 10 seconds remaining - effectively sealing the game for Philly. It was a call that probably shouldn't have been made, but its just one of many reasons the Celtics lost this game.

The first half wasn't very pretty either, Boston shot 38% and Philadelphia shot 37%. The Celtics started the game hot, scoring the first nine points to take a 9-0 lead. Things did not turn into a blowout however. The Sixers took a short lead twice in the second quarter. The last one came with just over a minute left but was erased by a Pierce three-pointer with 3.1 seconds left in the half as Boston headed to the locker room with a 38-36 lead.

Mike Saver 5/14/2012 09:32:00 PM Edit
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