Rapid Reaction: 76ers 103, Celtics 71
HOW THE GAME WAS WON
Philadelphia guard Evan Turner produced a career-high 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting to go along with nine rebounds to propel a fast-paced Philadelphia squad Wednesday. Turner's effort was bolstered by Elton Brand (18 points, 9 rebounds), Andre Iguodala (10 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists) and Jrue Holiday (10 points). Paul Pierce did all he could for Boston, finishing with a team-high 16 points, but he had virtually no support behind him save for Brandon Bass, who finished with 12 points.
BOLD PLAY OF THE GAME
The 76ers broke this one open early and never looked back. The Celtics never led against a Philadelphia team that earned its first double-digit lead with 2:14 remaining in the first quarter. From there, Philly dominated Boston in transition and on the glass, as Turner poured in basket after basket, eventually stretching the lead to as many as 37 points late in the fourth quarter. Celtics coach Doc Rivers waved the white flag late in the third frame, going with his bench reserves for the entire fourth period to finish off a game in which Boston never gave itself a chance.
Nikola Vucevic. Philly's reserve center shot 7-of-15 from the field, scoring 14 points to go along with 12 rebounds, finishing with a plus-22 in plus/minus.
PIETRUS LEAVES GAME
Celtics forward Mickael Pietrus departed for the locker room late in the third quarter with an unspecified injury, flanked closely by team trainer Ed Lacerte. Pietrus did not return, but that could have been partly due to the Celtics' hefty deficit.
STAT(S) OF THE GAME
Ray Allen failed to make a basket (0-of-5 shooting) in 26 minutes, while the Celtics, as a team, didn't make one 3-pointer, finishing 0-of-7 from long range. The club's 71 points tie a season-low, as they also produced 71 in a loss to the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 20 at home. The 32-point deficit marks the worst loss of the new Big Three era.
WHAT IT MEANS
It's important to keep the context of this game in mind, even if the Celtics pride themselves on their no-excuses mentality. The C's were coming off overtime victories in their previous two contests, including Tuesday night's thrilling 97-92 win over Houston, and it was apparent from start to finish that they didn't have their legs underneath them. Still, the loss snaps Boston's five-game winning streak, and the Celtics failed to move ahead of Philadelphia by percentage points in the Atlantic Division standings. The C's will see the 76ers again in a little more than two weeks at the tail end of their upcoming eight-game road trip, but in the meantime, they'll try to regroup against the Portland Trailblazers on Friday at home.
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