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Evan Turner hit two go-ahead buckets and a pair of free throws late in the fourth quarter to lift the Philadelphia 76ers over the Boston Celtics, 82-81. Turner finished the game with 10 points and 6 rebounds and was aided by teammate, Jrue Holiday’s 18 points as the Sixers pulled even with the Celtics in their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup, 1-1.
The Celtics had a chance to extend a one-point lead with under two minutes to go, but settled for a Rajon Rondo jump shot late in the shot clock. With 12 seconds to go and the Celtics down three, Kevin Garnett was called for an illegal screen on Andre Iguodala that essentially ended the game.
Ray Allen led the Celtics with 17 points off the bench while Garnett added 15 points and 12 rebounds. Brandon Bass scored 8 points in the first quarter to get the Celtics off to a hot start, but a 5-15 shooting performance hurt himself and his teammates the rest of the way. Bass finished with 12 points.
Paul Pierce struggled mightily for the Celtics with just 7 points, 2 made field goals, and a whopping 5 turnovers. The Celtics were terrible in the third quarter and made just 4-of-17 field goal attempts.
Pierce and the Celtics were simply out hustled when it mattered. The Celtics turned the ball over 17 times, were out rebounded 47-36, and shot 9 free-throws to the Sixers 21.
Avery Bradley left the game in the second quarter when he appeared to dislocate his injured left shoulder on a drive to the hoop. Bradley would return and hit a big three in the fourth quarter. Bradley (shoulder), Allen (ankle), Pierce and Mickael Pietrus (knees) all remain question marks going forward.
Health permitting, the Celtics will put this one behind them and focus on coming out strong in Game 3, Wednesday night in Philadelphia.