BOSTON (AP) — Kevin Garnett scored 19 points, Jeff Green added 16, and the Boston Celtics won the back end of a home-and-home with Philadelphia, beating the 76ers 92-79 on Saturday night.
Paul Pierce finished with 13 points and Rajon Rondo dished out 11 assists and collected nine rebounds, one night after his first triple-double of the season. Rondo had just seven points.
Thaddeus Young led Philadelphia with 22 points and Evan Turner scored 13. The 76ers have lost three of four.
Philadelphia won Friday when Turner hit the go-ahead basket in the lane with 3.9 seconds left in overtime and Rondo missed a game-ending shot after he slipped along the left baseline.
The Celtics led by 20 at halftime, but what looked like a rout quickly tightened late in the third quarter.
Boston led 65-44 before the 76ers scored 13 straight points over a 2:54 stretch. Turner had a pair of baskets and Jrue Holiday nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing, but the Celtics scored the final five points of the quarter and led 70-57 entering the final 12 minutes.
They pushed the lead back to 18 points midway into the fourth and coasted to the win.
Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said before the game that Celtics starters Garnett, Pierce and Jason Terry had played a large amount of minutes in their careers and there was no way his team should be more tired than Boston. Celtics coach Doc Rivers first agreed that “he’s right,” but later joked that he might tell his players.
It sure looked like he did and they took it personally.
Boston held the 76ers to a season-low 28 points in the first half, seemed to contest nearly every shot and held a 20-point lead at halftime. Philadelphia shot 23 percent (9 of 39) in the first half.
The Celtics, who shot 52 percent in the first quarter, led 24-16 after one.
Boston led 30-20 in the second before going on a 15-4 run over a six-minute stretch. Pierce scored five in the spree and Terry nailed long 3.
Philadelphia was at its worst in the second quarter, scoring a season-low 12 points for a quarter and shooting a miserable 14 percent (3 of 21).
NOTES: The teams don’t meet again until their final matchup of the season, March 5 in Philadelphia. … Referee Dick Bavetta, who worked the game and is a part of the storied rivalry, turns 73 Monday. He was the only referee working after his partner got hurt when Hall of Famers Larry Bird and Julius Erving got into a fight. … Actor Mark Wahlberg was seated courtside and held up a ‘Ted’ green sweat shirt. … The 76ers’ 28 in the first half was the lowest Boston’s allowed in a half this season. … Patriots safety Patrick Chung was also courtside. …The 76ers had won the previous two meetings this season. … Garnett didn’t collect a rebound in the game, playing 24 minutes.
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