76ers vs Celtics Game 1: A Tale of Two Halves

Allen VickersContributor IMay 12, 2012

BOSTON, MA - MAY 12:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics avoids Evan Turner #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the final seconds of the of Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 92-91. 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 Elsa/Getty Images)
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The 8th seeded 76ers entered TD Garden to face the Boston Celtics as one of the worst shooting teams in the playoffs. The Sixers were heavily out-rebounded in the previous series but Evan Turner was not going to let that become the tale of this series, grabbing five rebounds even before the first quarter was halfway over.

The post will prove to be one of the intriguing parts of the series as Elton Brand and Kevin Garnett had an old-school match-up going blow for blow and shot for shot. Boston missed 10 field goals but Garnett kept them in the game and the Celtics who may have seemed a little off at first, didn't let the game get out of hand.

The first quarter ended with the 76ers leading the Celtics 28-18.  

Ray Allen started the second quarter making great shots. Jodie Meeks then answered this run with his own 3, his first basket of the postseason. On a drive to the basket, Thaddeus Young sprained his ankle and was basically ineffective for the rest of the game.

The Celtics went on a 7-0 run but the 76ers answered back with an 8-0 run and at one-point lead by 13. Boston started to capitalize on the 76ers turnovers, scoring six points off of six turnovers, but the 76ers held on and ended the quarter with a 47-44 lead.  

This is where the tables began to turn.

Boston took a 48-47 lead in the 3rd by scoring the first six points of the quarter. Holiday and Rajon Rondo were battling each other the whole night, Rondo showing a small advantage. Celtics took over the third quarter, a spot where the Sixers usually outscore and outshine their opponents.

Sixers and Celtics battled back and forth and finish the 3rd quarter, with the Sixers leading 71-67. Boston Celtics outscored the 76ers 25-24 in the third.

BOSTON, MA - MAY 12: Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics tries to get around Spencer Hawes #00 of the Philadelphia 76ers  in Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. N
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Sixers ran out of gas in the fourth. They held the lead for the better part of three quarters but went completely cold when the game mattered most.  The Celtics took an 83-82 lead behind a Rajon Rondo triple-double. Whether turnovers or just bad shots the Sixers couldn’t get their mojo back and Boston took a commanding 6 point lead with 1:31 to go.

Rajon Rondo kept hitting shots and burying the Sixers.

As the seconds ticked off the clock the Celtics went strategy on the Sixers with Rajon Rondo fouling Jrue Holiday with 3.9 seconds left, sending Sixers to the line shooting two free throws. This limited the chances for the Sixers to come back in the game and ended with Boston winning game one 92-91.

The Sixers and Celtics' game one proved to be a game where veteran leadership lasted longer and meant more than the young playoff experience of the 76ers. The 76ers played with some gall and they should not be scared of Boston, who capitalized off the 76ers mistakes of turnovers and missed shots. 

Game two of this series should be interesting.


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