After giving up only seven turnovers in last Wednesday’s game, Boston’s giveaways ballooned to 17 on Friday. With 76ers reserve forward Lavoy Allen stuck like fly paper to Kevin Garnett for over 30 minutes, Boston’s offense was obviously thrown for a loop, and Philadelphia took advantage of that weakness in the second half. In the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, the 76ers’ Andre Iguodala hit two clutch shots – a three and a two – that kept Philadelphia up for good.
Aside from Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo’s strong offensive play (Rondo had 15 points, 15 assists and two steals, and Pierce had 24 points to lead all scorers), the Celtics were weak on the inside, attempting to shoot largely from the outside and largely conceding rebounds to Philadelphia’s big men. When Boston’s won, they’ve gone strong to the hoop and have made the 76ers foul them. When they lose, they go back to the perimeter offense. Pierce and Rondo will have to take the lead here in the next couple of games if the Celtics want to advance. But even more likely, this game will go down to the last basket of Game 7 – and justifiably so, in what’s been an exciting and thoroughly unpredictable series.