|National Basketball Association|
· Expanded Matchups
· Gaming Matchup
· Current Odds
· Live Odds
· Standings - East
· Standings - West
· Weekly Schedule
· Yearly Schedule
· Men's College Basketball
· Women's College Basketball
Monday, May 14th (All times eastern)
(8) Philadelphia 76ers (0-1) at (4) Boston Celtics (1-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia 76ers missed out on a golden opportunity to send a message to the heavily favored Boston Celtics in their Eastern Conference semifinals set during Saturday's Game 1.
The upstart Sixers outplayed Boston for most of the contest until the Celtics' experience took over down the stretch in a 92-91 C's win.
Rajon Rondo recorded his eighth career playoff triple-double in the victory with 13 points, 17 assists and 12 rebounds, helping Boston overcome a 10-point fourth quarter deficit.
Kevin Garnett added a game-high 29 points and 11 rebounds for the fourth- seeded Celtics, who defeated the Hawks in six games to advance to the second round for the fifth straight season.
Andre Iguodala, who sent the eighth-seeded 76ers into the second round with a pair of last-second free throws on Thursday against Chicago, scored a team- high 19 points in the loss.
"We didn't get good looks," Iguodala said, referring to his team's play in the fourth quarter. "We were kind of trying to make the home run plays instead of just grinding it out."
The Sixers took two of three games from the Celtics during the regular season, the first time they won the season series since 2006-07 and they were in control for much of Game 1.
They held the night's largest lead -- 13 points -- late in the second quarter and were up 77-67 on Lavoy Allen's turnaround hook shot early in the fourth.
But Rondo spearheaded a 16-5 surge and the Celtics took their first lead of the quarter, 83-82, on his 18-foot jump shot with 3:47 remaining.
Spencer Hawes responded with a short bucket but Garnett scored five straight and Paul Pierce netted two of his 14 points with a step-back jumper to give Boston its largest lead of the game at 90-84.
Iguodala then drained a pull-up three-pointer and Jrue Holiday wrapped four points around a Pierce basket to pull Philadelphia within one, 92-91, with 3.4 seconds left.
Coming out of a timeout, Rondo sprinted into the backcourt to receive the inbounds pass from half court and eluded Evan Turner's foul attempt as time expired.
"I was struggling with my shot early, I was turning the ball over," said Rondo. "I decided to do the intangibles and do everything out there on the floor to help my team. I came up with some rebounds, came up with some assists and just happened to get a triple-double."
Turner had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the 76ers while Hawes finished with 15 points and Allen scored 12 as Philadelphia fell to 1-8 over their last nine playoff road games.
The Sixers, a young and athletic team who became just the fifth No. 8 seed to win a first-round series when they knocked off the Bulls, will now head in one of two directions depending on the team's mindset.
It's likely Doug Collins' club either learned it can indeed play with the Celtics and gained confidence or realizes it can't match Boston's battle- tested grit late.
"We know we can play with these guys and we know our strengths and what is going to help us win the games," Iguodala said. "We just got to work on our weaknesses and we have to grow from these situations. We have a lot of young guys who play a lot of minutes for us."
One thing is certain, however, the Celtics still aren't taking the Sixers all that seriously.
"It's funny, when we cut the lead the first time and then they pumped it back up to seven, nine . I didn't feel bad about the game," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "I didn't know if we were going to win or lose. I did feel like mentally, our guys were still very much in the game, and, to me, that's a good sign."
This rivalry began all the way back in 1949-50 when the Sixers franchise called Syracuse home. Since the team relocated to the City of Brotherly Love, the 76ers and Celtics have met in the postseason 11 different times and eight of those were Eastern Conference finals. Boston has taken seven of the 11 series and is 51-43 overall in the playoffs against the Philadelphia franchise.
Game 3 of the set will take place Wednesday in Philadelphia.
05/14 12:06:14 ET
Powered by The Sports Network.