This quarter, like the rest of the series, wasn't a pretty sight. Paul Pierce scored the first basket of the game, Brandon Bass made two jumpers, Rondo had four assists and the Celtics started with a 10-2 run. In the first four minutes of the game, the Celtics were shooting 57% and the Sixers just 14 %.
The Sixers started the game 1-12 FG and 3 turnovers. Elton Brand kept the Sixers in the game, shooting 3-5 from the field and scoring 8 out of the first 12 Sixers points. Andre Iguodala had 5 points in the period, The Sixers and Celtics were tied at 20 after the first 12 minutes, but neither team could make anything. Celtics shot 38.9% from the field while the Sixers were even worse at 28.6%
The shooting in this quarter didn't get any better. The Sixers scored only 13 points in the whole period, shooting 5-18 FG and none of those baskets were outside of the paint. Boston scored two baskets outside the paint, but couldn't make a single three pointer, they went 0-9. At the half, Celtics lead the Sixers 41-33
Kevin Garnett scored 13 points and 12 rebounds, Pierce had 12 pounts & Rajon Rondo had 5 points, 5 rebounds & 5 assists for Boston. Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala both scored 7 points for the Sixers.
The Celtics are 4-3 in the postseason when leading in the first half.
Philadelphia shot the ball way better than in the first half, they shot 40% and their offense, as well as their defense, was clicking. Sixers only allowed Celtics to scored 14 points in the quarter, while they had 19 points. Their offense was lead by Iguodala and Holiday, each had 12 points after three. One player that didn't played well in the third was Rajon Rondo, he only had 2 points and 1 assist. Sixers had a quick 7-0 run to get the lead down to 1 before KG made a jumper at the buzzer and Boston lead 55-52 after three.
This quarter has been all about Boston's will to win and Philly resiliency and not laying down. Ray Allen was 0-5 from three during the first three quarters, but he made two big 3's, especially when the Celtrics needed them the most. Kevin Garnett also scored two baskets and Paul Pierce scored one before fouling out at the 3:48 mark. Paul finished the game with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists.
When Paul Pierce fouled out, Boston was leading 81-78. Rajon Rondo took over for the Celtics, scoring 9 points in a row, a triple double (10 points, 10 rebounds & 10 assists) and lead the Celtics to a victory and the series win 85-75. Sixers fought hard to the end, but couldn't get over the hump.
Andre Iguodala had 18 points, 15 for Elton Brand & Jrue Holiday had 17. For Boston, Rondo had a triple double along with 18 points, KG had 18 & 13, Pierce 15 & Ray Allen 11.
The Celtics move on to play the Miami Heat for the 2nd time in a row in the postseason.
Credit: NBA Yahoo Sports/Getty Images
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