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(Friday, December 7th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 95, Boston 94 (OT)
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Evan Turner scored 26 points and hit the go-ahead basket with 3.9 seconds left in overtime to lift the Philadelphia 76ers to a 95-94 win over the Boston Celtics in an Atlantic Division matchup from the Wells Fargo Center.
Turner added 10 rebounds and Thaddeus Young compiled 17 points and 12 boards to help the 76ers halt a two-game losing streak and take the opener of a home- and-home series between the longtime rivals. Jrue Holiday contributed 15 points to the hard-fought victory.
"Tonight Evan was huge for us," said Young. "Very satisfying, (winning) a big- time rivalry game."
Boston suffered its second defeat in its last three outings despite a triple- double from Rajon Rondo and a game-high 27 points out of Paul Pierce. The Celtics also received 19 points off the bench from Jeff Green and a 17-point, 10-rebound effort from Kevin Garnett.
Rondo finished with 16 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds.
Philadelphia trailed 94-93 after Green sank a 3-pointer from the right corner off a give from Pierce with 1:54 left in overtime, and the score stayed that way heading into the game's last moments.
The Sixers were given one final chance to prevail after Boston's Courtney Lee air-balled an attempt from long range with just under 25 seconds remaining, and made the most of it when Turner dribbled into the lane, pulled up, and buried a clutch jumper with 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."
Following a timeout, the Celtics scrambled down the court and got Rondo open near the baseline, but his shot at the buzzer was well off the mark.
"Tough loss," Boston head coach Doc Rivers remarked. "We didn't necessarily play well. I loved our effort. I think we're competing."
During a nip-and-tuck fourth quarter in which neither team was ahead by more than four points, Philadelphia held an 87-84 edge after Holiday hit a jumper just past the foul line with 2:29 to go. Garnett fed Green for an easy dunk on the other end, however, then hit 1-of-2 free throws around a minute later to tie the game at 87-87 with 1:11 left to play.
The Sixers went back in front on Turner's second-chance lay-in with 49 seconds remaining, and Garnett missed a chip-shot putback off a Jason Terry miss on Boston's next trip to keep it a two-point affair.
Holiday misfired on the ensuing set, however, and Garnett redeemed himself by knocking down an open 20-footer with 7.7 seconds on the clock that would force extra time.
Philadelphia closed out an evenly played first quarter with a 6-0 run to forge a 28-28 tie at period's end, and the game remained tight throughout the duration of the opening half.
Boston reeled off six straight points, capped by a Green floater with 43.9 seconds left, to claim a 50-43 lead, but Holiday drew a foul while scoring with time winding down and converted the subsequent bonus shot to make it a four-point differential at intermission.
The Sixers then came out strong to begin the second half, putting forth an 11-2 surge in which Turner accounted for five points to go up by a 57-52 count three minutes into the third quarter. Philadelphia owned its largest advantage of the night at 68-61 with four minutes left in the frame, but a Green 3- pointer ignited a 9-2 Boston flurry that Pierce culminated with a thunderous driving dunk to knot the contest at 70-70 near the end of the session.
A Spencer Hawes jumper on the following possession put Philadelphia on top by two entering the fourth quarter.
The teams will face one another again Saturday night in Boston ... Sixers guard Nick Young missed a third straight game due to a hyperextended left toe, while center Kwame Brown was inactive with a stomach virus ... Rondo notched the 24th triple double of his career including playoffs, and the Celtics had been 22-1 when he achieved the feat prior to Friday's setback ... Philadelphia registered only its second win in nine games this season when being outshot by its opponent. The 76ers made just 37.4 percent of their attempts, compared to 43.2 percent for the Celtics ... Philadelphia is now 10-0 on the season when ahead or tied at the start of the fourth quarter.
12/07 23:05:48 ET
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