After outscoring the Philadelphia 76ers 32-16 in the second quarter, the Boston Celtics continued their offensive proficiency into the second half, cruising to a 107-91 victory to take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The box score shows a virtual sweep by the Celtics, as they led the 76ers in almost every major statistical category. Whether it was on the boards, shooting from the floor or limiting turnovers while forcing opponents' miscues, there are few positives that Philadelphia head coach Doug Collins can take away from Wednesday night in preparation for Friday's Game 4.
The Celtics were led by Kevin Garnett, who finished with a game-high 27 points on 12-of-17 shooting and 13 rebounds. Many believe that with Paul Pierce struggling and Ray Allen not playing anywhere near 100 percent, Garnett may have to turn into Boston's first option on offense while remaining his usual self on defense. So far, he has delivered and even exceeded expectations.
The 76ers' fast start to the game quickly dissipated, as they were presented with a limited number of transition opportunities and struggled with their half-court offense. Much of the postgame discussion online, in the papers and on sports radio will focus on Garnett's performance, and rightfully so. But the primary determinant for the rest of this series will be the 76ers' lack of a true true go-to guy or playmaker. Their defense sparks their offense, and when the Celtics are converting at one end and controlling the pace, there's not much with which the 76ers can counter.
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