At one point during tonight's game I started thinking maybe officials at Philadelphia's Wachovia Center should have the building tested for high levels of carbon monoxide. The whole night seemed to be in slow motion. Both teams lacked any sense of energy, the crowd could have been asleep with their eyes open for all the noise they weren't making, even Mike Gorman quipped at one point during the third quarter, "we're talking quietly like this so we don't disturb anyone...". It felt as though I was watching tennis, something I never do.
In the first play of the game, Paul Pierce fouled Andre Iguodala, who sunk a free-throw for a three-point play and put the Sixers' up on the score board. You could have thought you were experiencing déjà vuwhen the very same thing happened at the start of the third quarter - you weren't... Pierce did the same thing again. Pierce had a very quiet night, sinking only one basket, and getting five additional points in free throws.
Philadelphia did come out strong at the start of the game, but overall the whole first half (make that the whole game) was pretty much characterized by low-energy, unexciting play. Ray Allen was the most active C's player in the first half, with his first eleven points coming in just twelve minutes of play. In the second half, the active player award went to Rondo, who sunk 14 of his 16 points in the third quarter.
Perhaps the biggest "excitement" of the half was the back-to-back Technical fouls, one on each team... both times Tommy & Mike weren't even sure what the T was called for, and looked at the re-play to figure it out. The first was called on Sixers' Marreese Speights for taunting, and less than a minute later one was called on Perk for apparently kicking while he was battling for a board under the hoop. Then there were the twelve turnovers the C's had in the first half... incredible that they were able to finish the half with a three-point lead, 46-43.
After the Pierce-Iguodala "re-play" to start the second half, the third quarter largely belonged to Rajon Rondo, and by the end of the quarter the Celtics had brought their lead up to seven points, 74-67.
A sleepy fourth quarter found Boston with a five point lead with only about two minutes left. Kendrick Perkins came up with an incredible block, and Pierce sunk four of his five free-throws to help the Celtics maintain the lead. The night's high scorers were Lou Williams for Philly and Kevin Garnet for the C's, both with 22 points. Boston came out with a ten-point win, 96-86. I have to stop writing, I'm falling asleep...