BOSTON, MA - MAY 14: Evan Turner #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers is fouled by Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 14, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Boston Celtics 82-81. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

76ers Vs. Celtics: Philadelphia Wins Tight Defensive Battle, 82-81

Winning ugly is still winning: The 76ers tied their series with the Celtics with another game decided by a single point.

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Kevin Garnett's Illegal Screen Was Moving, But Was It The Right Call?

The Boston Celtics were beat by the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night in the second game of their seven game series, but quite a few fans in Massachusetts have seemingly decided to put an asterisk next to the Boston loss. The asterisk is because, if the officials had not blown their whistles on Kevin Garnett when he was screening for Ray Allen, the game's outcome likely would have been altered.

Garnett clearly set an illegal screen -- both the video evidence as well as the poll results here confirm that -- but one question remains: Should an off-the-ball play with just seconds left on the game clock help decide the outcome of a game?

Our friend Jeff Clark over at SB Nation's CelticsBlog, who likely isn't the most biased observer but is an astute basketball mind, gave his opinion on the game-altering call Tuesday morning.

Like holding calls in football, there are moving screens on every other play in basketball and yes, the Celtics are among the worst at it. I'd be shocked if they didn't teach it to their big men in training camp. However, it would seem to make more sense for the officials to start calling that earlier in the game instead of all of a sudden in the final minute or two.

Was it a moving screen? No doubt. Was it the right time to make that call? Well, let's just say I was surprised and leave it at that.

In all honesty, that's a perfectly acceptable answer. Moving screens "on every other play" might be taking it to the extremes, but there are probably more illegal screens that aren't called throughout the course of the average than those that are caught and called. That doesn't make the late-game whistle a bad one, however, especially since the officials had already established with Garnett that his illegal screenery wouldn't be tolerated.

The reaction from everyone over the next few days will likely be mixed, but it seems that the officials didn't get it wrong -- though it's understandable that the opponents of the call would rather see refs get it right quite a bit more often before blowing their whistle with the game on the line.

For more on the Celtics, visit CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Sixers, please visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly.


Celtics Upset By 76ers Thanks To Heroic Play Of Surprising Standouts

It probably makes sense to expect the unexpected when it comes to the NBA Playoffs, but, more often than not, it's the established stars that make the most noise when the postseason rolls through each year. Monday night's game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics, however, showed that random players do occasionally step up.

The Sixers were led by Andre Iguodala on the defensive end -- as is typically the case -- but it was the unlikely duo of Evan Turner or Lavoy Allen who made the biggest contributions in the upset victory. Turner made the game-winning bucket off a nice steal and, as Michael Levin of Liberty Ballers noted after the game, it was quite possibly the most anyone could ask for out of a player some thought was going to be a bust as the second overall pick.

The first move past Rondo, the acrobatic body control to avoid Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, and the last minute adjustment to put some major english on that ball to kiss off the glass at a heavenly angle. Mike Prada called it "a career-altering shot". Matt Moore of CBS channeled Christopher Nolan and said "The Sixers needed a hero. They got the Villain." And Doc Rivers, sneering, deemed it "a miraculous shot." Evan would go on to make two huge, COLD. BLOODED. free throws and seal the game for the Sixers. Though this certainly wasn't his best game, it was absolutely one of his best finishes.

The Sixers had an even more unlikely player step up earlier in the game, however, as Liberty Ballers' Derek Bodner notes that Lavoy Allen's offense was something not even the heartiest of 76ers fans could expect.

Luckily, Lavoy Allen stepped in and played 30 minutes of productive basketball. Let me reiterate that: Lavoy Allen played over 30 minutes of productive playoff basketball. I wasn't a fan of his drafting, and the concerns I had (none of which were talent) still exist to some degree, and won't be settled until he does this at a consistent level. But Lavoy has so far exceeded my expectations (even if he does nothing else in his Sixers career) that I can't help but give him props. Ten points, eight rebounds, and the best interior defense on the team down the stretch. He was the only one who consistently contested Garnett's shots, both on the perimeter and in the post.

I would be surprised if Doug Collins made a change in the starting lineup, but Allen deserves it. Individual game +/- is generally misused, but in this case it directly ties into how well he's played. Allen was a +6 in 20 minutes in game 1 and a +21 in 30 minutes tonight. That's a +27 when Allen has been on the court this series and a -27 when he's been off.

As far as the other side of the ball is concerned, our friends over at the aptly named CelticsBlog seem resigned to thinking that if they were just able to get some shots to fall that the game would have ended up going in the other direction.

That explanation would make sense in quite a few games, but Jeff Clark explained his team's woes too well not to excerpt them here.

The maddening thing is that we've seen this team run a fluid, highly efficient if not proficient offense in the past. When the ball is moving around, people are making the right cuts and knocking down shots, it is a thing of beauty. We've got three guys that are Hall of Fame locks and were their team's go-to scorers for years and years. But now they can't seem to buy a bucket with all the buckets of cash that they've earned ... scoring buckets.

This should be an interesting series to watch if the Sixers are able to continue to get solid play out of their lesser players, but if and when the Celtics start getting hot, even that might not keep Philly alive through another seven game series.

For more n the Celtics, visit CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Sixers, please visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly.


Celtics Vs. 76ers, 2012 NBA Playoffs Game 2: Philadelphia Evens Series With 82-81 Win

After losing by one point in Game 1, the 76ers evened their series with Boston with a one-point win of their own in Game 2. Philadelphia's 82-81 victory tied their best-of-seven game series with the Celtics 1-1.

Jrue Holiday led the way for the 76ers with 18 points, while Andre Iguodala finished with 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Spencer Hawes was two points shy of a double-double, finishing with eight points and 10 rebounds in 27 minutes.

Ray Allen scored 17 points off the bench to lead the Celtics. Fresh off a triple-double in Game 1, Rajon Rondo finished Game 2 with eight points, seven rebounds and 13 assists. He now has 20 assists through two games of this series. Paul Pierce scored just seven points in the losing effort. Pierce is averaging 10.5 points per game in this series after scoring 21.2 points per game in the Celtics opening-round series against Atlanta.

For more on the Celtics, visit CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Sixers, please visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly.


VIDEO: Evan Turner's Acrobatic Layup Gives 76ers The Lead

We cannot and should not take this Evan Turner layup for granted. On the scoresheet, it'll go down as a simple left-handed layup and two points for the Philadelphia 76ers, but it was far more than that. Not only did this shot give the 76ers a one-point lead with 40 seconds left, but there was a high degree of difficulty involved.

The powerful move to get by Rondo to his right was impressive enough, but with Paul Pierce stepping in, that should have been an offensive foul. Instead, Turner somehow jumped off his left leg to his left, ducking his knee inside of Pierce's body and squeezing through Pierce and Rondo to avoid the charge. Then, there was the matter of actually finishing the shot with his off hand with his body so off-balanced.

If the 76ers go on to win this game, this could be a career-altering shot by Turner, who has largely been a disappointment after going No. 2 in the 2010 NBA Draft.

For more on the Celtics, visit CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Sixers, please visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly.


Avery Bradley Injury: Celtics Guard Hurts Shoulder, Leaves Game

The Boston Celtics are without shooting guard Avery Bradley, at least temporarily. With just over five minutes remaining in the second quarter of Game 2 against the Philadelphia 76ers, Bradley took the ball to the basket and got between Lou Williams and Elton Brand. It appeared that Brand made contact with Bradley's left arm when he attempted to make a block, injuring Bradley's shoulder. It looks like a fairly innocent play on video, but the shoulder that Bradley injures on the play was his previously-injured left shoulder.

Bradley appeared to be in serious pain on the bench before he went back to the locker room. David Aldridge reported on TNT's broadcast of the game that Bradley has a separated left shoulder. He suffered the same injury in Game 3 against the Atlanta Hawks and did not return to that game.

For more on the Celtics, visit CelticsBlog and SB Nation Boston. For more on the Sixers, please visit Liberty Ballers and SB Nation Philly.


NBA Playoffs 2012, Celtics Vs. 76ers Game 2: Game Time, TV Schedule And More

Philadelphia fell by only one point in Game 1 after beating the team with the best record in the NBA. Can they even the series in Game 2?

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