76ers vs. Celtics: Breaking Down Intense Game 3 Action

Soven Bery@@realsovenberySenior Analyst IMay 15, 2012

BOSTON, MA - MAY 14: Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics heads for the net as Elton Brand #42,Andre Iguodala #9 and Jrue Holiday #11 of the Philadelphia 76ers defend in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 14, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 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)
Elsa/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics are no longer playoff perfect at the TD Garden, as the Philadelphia 76ers upstaged the home team 82-81. 

The game was not a perfect basketball outing and was ugly at moments, but the City of Brotherly Love turned on the heat when it counted to tie the series at one game a piece. 

The Celtics were bad in the third quarter and it caught up to them, as they payed a high price for that distraught quarter. 

Evan Turner dropped two huge free throws to extend the Sixers' lead to three points with 12 seconds left, and Philly held on to secure the victory.


Tweets of the Night

Not Bill Walton puts a terrible night from Ray Allen in perspective with this hilarious metaphor:

If Ray Allen is Basketball Jesus, then the Sixers defense must be Basketball Pontius Pilate with Allen's putrid effort.

— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) May 14, 2012

Another zinger from was brought to our attention by the hilarious Not Charles Barkley. He explained why the first three quarters of this game were so bad:

Celtics playing like trash 'cause they old. Sixers playing like trash 'cause they are. This game is absolutely #Turrible.

— Charles Barkley (@NotChuckBarkley) May 14, 2012

The game was terrible for the better part of the contest, but the fourth quarter was exciting and incredibly contested. The NBA Guru comments on that quick turnaround:

Wow! This game got REALLY GOOD, REALLY FAST.

— NBA Guru (@NBAGuru) May 14, 2012


Highlight of the Night 

This game was a sluggish outing for most of its entirety without many highlights. There were just missed shots and bad basketball. But then Kevin Garnett made this sweet move and tied up the game late in the fourth quarter. His two points breathed new life in the home crowd. 

Watch the highlight right here


Grades For Key 76ers Players

Jrue Holiday: The point guard was phenomenal in this one, and he was a big part why the Sixers got the win in Boston. 

Holiday was electrifying and brought his youth to the matchup. That proved vital against the old legs of the Celtics. 

BOSTON, MA - MAY 12:  Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics passes the ball under pressure from Andre Iguodala #9 and Spencer Hawes #00 of the Philadelphia 76ers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 12, 2012 at
Elsa/Getty Images

He finished the matchup with 18 points and three assists. 


Andre Iguodala: The “other” AI was impressive for Philadelphia tonight, as he had had 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds. 

Iguodala put the blame on himself for losing Game 1 and came out and played like a true star, as his defensive efforts limited the great Paul Pierce to only seven points. 

That was the difference-maker in this contest. 


Grades For Key Celtics Players

Rajon Rondo: This is a player that the Celtics relied on to get the win. 

He is the reason why the series is tied. Rondo played 38 minutes and was able to total 12 assists, but his shots weren’t dropping, and he only tallied eight points. 


PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 06: Andre Iguodala #9 and Jrue Holiday #11 of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrate in the fourth quarter after a three point shot by Holiday in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Farg
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images


Paul Pierce: Pierce is the Celtics' backbone, as he has been with the team through the good and the bad. 

Tonight, though, he took the game off, scoring just seven points on two-for-nine shooting. 

This was a dismal effort from Boston’s star and resulted in his squad having to go to Philadelphia with a chip on their shoulders. 

Pierce needed to come up big, and he couldn’t. 


Game MVP

Jrue Holiday: Many role players stepped up for the Sixers and contributed to the win but Holiday rose above the rest as he was constant throughout the battle. 

His scoring ability was the difference maker in Philadelphia getting a much needed victory in Boston. 

What's Next?

The series will resume on Wednesday, with Game 3 set to tip off in Philadelphia at 7:00 p.m. EDT.


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