Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics: Sixers Erupt in 3rd Period for Win

Professor BushCorrespondent IIIMarch 23, 2012

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 27:  Elton Brand #42 of the Philadelphia 76ers walks off the floor after fouling out during game five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on April 27, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers woke up in the second half in time to defeat the Boston Celtics for the second time this season. The win enabled the Sixers to keep the lead in the Atlantic Division and to take the season tie-breaker with the Celtics.

With his team trailing by six points at the half, Elton Brand decided he'd seen enough. Brand scored 12 points in the third period and led the Sixers on a 37-point scoring binge. When the period ended, the Sixers had a 14-point lead.

With Ray Allen not playing, and Mickael Pietrus suffering a scary in-game injury, the Sixers guards had the advantage in getting past Celtic defenders.  This meant that Lou Williams and Jrue Holiday could pour it on once the Sixers had the lead.  This quickness advantage on the outside helped the Sixers drive the paint more than usual. As a result, the Sixers had 18 free throws to the Celtics 13.

With four minutes left in the game and the Sixers up by 15, Doc Rivers emptied the Celtics' bench. The Sixers won 99-86.

Rajon Rondo had a strong game at point guard for the Celtics, dishing out 17 assists. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce each scored 20 points.

Spencer Hawes recorded a double-double. Brand went 10 for 15 from the field and scored 20, Williams scored 19 and Holiday had 15.

This was an important win for the Sixers against a division rival. Maybe the team meeting the Sixers had this week has righted the ship.