Boston 86, Philadelphia 99 - Boston Loses Game and Mickael Pietrus

Give Philadelphia credit, twice in recent weeks the Celtics have come to their building on the verge of overtaking first place in the Atlantic Division, and twice they have repelled Boston's attempts.

Though both games had the final score of a blow out, this night was far different. The Celtics showed up to play tonight, however it is tough to keep up with good teams when you are missing two of your best offensive weapons.

Coming into the night, we were alerted that Ray Allen would not be playing due to a sore ankle which he sprained earlier in the road trip. Then with five minutes left in second quarter, Allen's replacement, Mickael Pietrus fell in the paint and smacked the back of his head on the floor.

Pietrus immediately grabbed at his head and after a few long minutes, he was taken off the court on a stretcher. He was replaced immediately by newcomer Ryan Hollins, who hit one of the two free throws in his first action wearing the green and white.

Pietrus was taken to a Philadelphia hospital after he left the court and for a while the game slowed down, as if all the players had him in their thoughts. Marquis Daniels played decently when given extended playing in his absence. Boston held tight to a 49-43 lead going into the intermission, but that wouldn't last long.

With both Pietrus and Allen missing from the offense, Boston's scoring stalled. In what has been the Celtics' biggest quarter on the road trip, the third, Philadelphia was able to reverse the trend by building a double-digit lead.

The Celtics were outscored by 20 points in the third en route to an 80-66 deficit entering the final quarter. Doc Rivers was forced to shake things up in the fourth, starting Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Jajuan Johnson, Keyon Dooling, and Daniels.  The group was unable to cut into the 76er lead, and Boston dropped the final game of their big road trip, 99-86.

Though the Celtics fall to 1.5 games behind the four seed, you cannot call the road trip a failure. Boston has shown great poise and toughness throughout the past eight games and finished an honorable 4-4.

Paul Pierce and Garnett continued their torrid shooting from the previous night by going 7-11 and 10-19, respectively. Each scored 20 points and were joined in double figures by Brandon Bass with 18. Rondo was limited to six points, but also registered 17 assists, his sixth straight game with 12 plus.

Strangely enough, Boston outshot Philadelphia on the night 49%-45%, the difference was once again found on the glass. The Celtics gave up 14 offensive rebounds while allowing the 76ers 19 more shots. Boston was out rebounded yet again, 46-35.

Elton Brand led five 76ers in double figures with 20 points.

Boston, who fell to 25-22, travels back to Massachusetts tomorrow before a back-to-back with Washington and Charlotte on Sunday and Monday. Around the Celtics in the standings; The Knicks and Pacers lost as well, while Atlanta and obviously Philadelphia were victorious.

As of posting, there was no official report on the health of Pietrus or Avery Bradley, who also sustained a minor injury. The good news is Mickael had visible movement in all of his extremities. He did have blood in his mouth, however with the violent velocity in which he hit the floor, that may just be from a bitten tongue or cheek. Continue checking CelticsLife for the latest on his condition.