NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, December 8th (All times Eastern)
Philadelphia 76ers (11-8) at Boston Celtics (10-9), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The longtime rivalry between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics is heating up once again.
The two Atlantic Division residents wrap up a home-and-home set on Saturday night, with Philadelphia looking to clinch the sweep in Boston.
These two franchises have been playing one and other since 1949 and have added to the tome with two tight games this season. Philadelphia snapped a three- game skid in Boston with a 106-100 win back on Nov. 9, then took the opener of this home-and-home set on Friday night 95-94 in overtime at home.
In a game that featured 19 lead changes and 17 ties, the Celtics' Kevin Garnett hit an open 20-footer with 7.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter to force overtime and Boston held a 94-93 edge with 1:54 left in the extra frame following a 3-pointer by Jeff Green.
Evan Turner, though, hit the game-winning bucket for Philadelphia with 3.9 ticks left, pulling up in the lane and hitting a jumper with Paul Pierce in his face.
"I just tried to get to my sweet spot on the court," said Turner of the play. "Thad Young told me at the beginning of OT to take it over."
Boston had one last chance, but Rajon Rondo failed to put an exclamation point on his triple-double as he slipped attempting a shot from the baseline and his attempt was well off.
"Tough loss," Boston head coach Doc Rivers remarked. "We didn't necessarily play well. I loved our effort. I think we're competing."
Turner ended with 26 points and 10 rebounds, Thaddeus Young had 17 points and 12 boards and Jrue Holiday donated 15 points as the Sixers snapped a two-game slide and beat the Celtics for the fifth time in seven meetings.
"Tonight Evan was huge for us," said Young. "Very satisfying, (winning) a big- time rivalry game."
Sixers guard Nick Young missed a third straight game due to a hyperextended left toe.
Rondo finished with 16 points, 14 assists and a season-high 13 rebounds. Pierce had a game-high 27 points, while Garnett had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Boston lost for the second time in three games, but has won six of its last eight at home versus Philadelphia.
The Sixers did get 21 points and a then career-high 14 assists from Holiday in the November win at Boston, while Turner notched 25 points and 11 boards.
Holiday is third in the NBA with nine assists per game, while Rondo leads the league with 12.9.
Rondo dished out 20 assists versus the 76ers on Nov. 9.
12/08 10:30:19 ET