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Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Iguodala sparks defense in Sixers win

By ESPN Stats & Information

The Philadelphia 76ers evened their series with the Boston Celtics by limiting the home team to 24 points over the second and quarters before withstanding a late rally for an 82-81 win.

The 76ers won a playoff game in Boston for the first time since Game 7 of the 1982 Eastern Conference Finals. Only two players on the current Philadelphia roster – Elton Brand and Tony Battie – were born before that game was played.

In leading Philadelphia to victory, Doug Collins picked up his first win as a coach in five playoff trips to Boston. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he’s the seventh person in NBA history to win a playoff game in Boston as a head coach and as a player. Collins was a member of the 76ers in 1977, when they beat the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Celtics were held to 11 points in the third quarter, tied for their lowest output in a quarter since the Indiana Pacers held them to 10 points in the fourth quarter in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference First Round matchup in 2005.

In fact, they were held to one point per minute over the second and third quarters while making just nine of 37 shots from the field. They made 24 of 42 shots – 57 percent – over the other two quarters to stay in the game.

If the Celtics had gotten to the line, they might have been able to win the game despite their poor shooting stretch. Boston attempted only nine free throws in the game. In 1,879 playoff games over the last 25 years, the Celtics are one of only eight home teams to attempt fewer than 10 free throws.

The key combination for the Sixers was Lavoy Allen and Andre Iguodala. They were on the floor together for 24 minutes in Game 2. During that time, Philadelphia outscored Boston by 20 points and made over half its shots. When the duo wasn’t on the court together, the 76ers made 30 percent of their shots and were outscored by 19 points.

Iguodala was also able to hold Paul Pierce in check on Monday. Pierce made only one of six shots and committed four turnovers when guarded by Iguodala. In the series, he has more turnovers than field goals when Iguodala is the defender.