The Celtics gradually pulled away in the second half to win this game. After halftime, they seemed more committed to playing defense, more committed to denying Philadelphia the chance to stay close. The Celtics didn't try to engage in a scoring contest. They focused on defense, the offense followed, and the 76ers were shut down.
The C's scored 54 points in the second half. Which is very good. Even better, though, is that they allowed 35. Just 35 points in a half of basketball.
The Celtics can play an offensive-focused game against the 76ers, and they might win some times, lose other times. But if they focus on defense and execute properly, they'll always win. At least they should.
Garnett had a good game. KG has done well in all 3 of the Celtics' wins in this series. He's done poorly in both losses. As KG goes, so go the Celtics. He had some senior-moments in the first half. But he stopped making defensive mistakes in the 2nd quarter, started scoring some points, and getting to the line.
Brandon Bass had a big night, which was needed with Avery Bradley sidelined. 27 points, 6 rebounds. He really stepped up when the Celtics needed someone to step up.
Rondo and Pierce each had good games. Nothing amazing, nothing disappointing.
Ray Allen played some good defense in the 4th. And hit one big shot.
The Celtics went back to basics with this one. It was about team-defense, about applying pressure to Philly, and about working to get the open shot. Ray Allen only had 7 field goal attempts, and I like that. He shouldn't be shooting unless the look is good. KG showed up offensively in the 2nd quarter, then defensively in the second half. Brandon Bass stepped up big time.
Celtics can close the series out Wednesday night in Philly.