Celtics Beat 76ers In Heartbreaker In Philly

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Celtics beat Sixers in "one of biggest wins of the year"

So close.

On National Television, the Sixers hung with the Celtics for four quarters, only to be undone by a blown defensive assignment that Kevin Garnett gladly cashed in on for the win. Andre Iguodala played a great game on Paul Pierce, making a nifty move to break his ankles and put the Sixers momentarily on top. Ray Allen hit more big shots, Rajon Rondo kept his historical assist output up and dished 14 tonight.

Jodie Meeks is still amazing, he and Lou Williams combined to shoot 8-9 from beyond the arc. Elton Brand was great on the offensive glass, definitely helped by the absence of Shaq. Rod Thorn has to be questioning some of Doug Collins’ defensive rotations at the end, keeping Thad and Lou in for defense. This is what good teams do though. Collins had his guys right there, but Doc Rivers and his veteran crew came out on top. The Sixers are now 1-11 in games decided by 10 points or less.

They fall to 7-15 on the season, but with only a few minor bounces they could be 12-10. It’s a young team, and losses like this have to make the team proud, but it doesn’t make it any easier for it to stomach.

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Shaq Out, Semih Erden in for Celtics

So remember all that stuff I said about Shaq being efficient and durable and Doc Rivers using him wisely to make him the best player he can be at age 38? Forget it. For tonight at least.

Kate Fagan is reporting on twitter
that Shaq is out for tonight’s game and Semih Erden from Turkey will replace him in the starting lineup. This is the 7-footer Erden’s first career start in this, his rookie season. He hasn’t played more than 21 minutes in a game up to this point.

Also out for the Celts are Jermaine O’Neal, Delonte West, and of course Kendrick Perkins. Jason Kapono will sit another one out for the Sixers. The other starting lineups are the usual with Jrue/Meeks/Iguodala/Brand/Hawes for the home team and Rondo/Allen/Pierce/Garnett/Erden for the visitors. Hopefully Spencer Hawes will be able to capitalize on the NBA inexperience of Erden, who is actually two years older than Spawes.

Tip-off in twenty minutes.

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