NBA Game Summary - Boston at Philadelphia
(Friday, April 7th)
Final Score: Boston 109, Philadelphia 99
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce had 33 points, 12 rebounds and six assists to lead the Boston Celtics to a 109-99 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wachovia Center.
Gerald Green had 17 points and Tony Allen ended the game with 16 for the Celtics, who have won two of their last three games and now trail Chicago by 3 1/2 games for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with six games left to play.
Allen Iverson had 37 points and five assists and Chris Webber added 18 points and 11 boards for the Sixers, who have dropped three straight and are one game back of Chicago.
The Sixers travel to Chicago for a key contest on Saturday.
"I hope it's not anybody that has given up on us," Iverson said. "I haven't; I play hard for 45 minutes every night. It would be like a slap in my face and a slap in Kevin Ollie's face and Chris Webber's [face]. [They are] guys that give it all they got every night. I don't see that, I honestly don't."
Philadelphia was trailing 81-76 going into the fourth quarter and were trailing 84-76 after Pierce started the final 12 minutes with a three-pointer.
The Sixers, though, responded with an 11-2 run and took an 87-86 lead when John Salmons slammed the ball home with 7:41 left. A bit later Green drained a three-pointer to tie the game up, 91-91, with 5:31 remaining.
"I think that as I came back from the D league as a started practicing, I started getting focused and ready to play," Green said. "I've been going out there working hard, playing hard, being more aggressive and I think that has been the change."
Pierce hit a basket and a free throw and followed that up with a jumper to give the Celtics a 96-91 lead with 3:49 to play.
A Webber turnaround jumper made it a 96-93 game with 3:31 left. But, Ryan Gomes was fouled as he put in a layup and he calmly drained the free throw to make it 99-93 with 2:35 remaining.
After Pierce hit a jumper to give the Celtics a 101-94 lead, Kyle Korver drained a three-pointer to cut the score to 101-97 with under two minutes to play.
But, Pierce hit two free throws and then Allen connected on one to make it 104-97 with 1:31 left in the game to seal the win for Boston.
It was a close first quarter to begin the contest, but thanks to a strong finish, Philadelphia took a slim 34-30 lead into the second quarter. Iverson had 18 points in the first quarter and scored the last nine of Philadelphia's points.
The Sixers had an early six point lead, 36-30, after Shavlik Randolph slammed it home on the Sixers first possession of the second. But, the Celtics did not allow the game to get away from them and only trailed 59-55 going into the locker room.
Philadelphia was leading 74-66 after Iverson hit two free throws with 4:52 left in the third quarter. Raef LaFrentz, though, drained a three-pointer on Boston's next possession and the team closed out the quarter with a 15-2 run and assumed an 81-76 lead going into the final 12 minutes.
Boston returns home for a game against the Knicks on Sunday...Iverson now has 18,944 points and passed Scottie Pippen for 41st place on the all-time scoring list...Korver finished with 18 points...LaFrentz netted 12 points in the game...Boston shot a sharp 52.7 percent from the field and won the battle of the boards, 42-35...The Sixers hit 45.8 percent of their shots...Boston is 3-1 versus Philadelphia this year.
04/08 00:58:20 ET