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Slipped Away: Sixers 95, Celtics 94 (OT)

Box Score

A first half masterpiece from Rajon Rondo was left to waste as the Celtics could not get past Evan Turner and the Philadelphia Sixers on the front half of a back-to-back matchup.

It was the Turner show in the second half and much of overtime for the hosts as they relied on the third-year guard to get separation and carry the offensive load (26 points on 26 shots) as he bullied Jason Terry and Paul Pierce for much of the evening. Courtney Lee was brought in for defensive purposes late on him in overtime, but dropped the ball on both ends of the floor, missing what would have been a game-clinching corner three on one end, while also allowing Turner to hit the game-winner over his head with three seconds remaining in overtime.

Rondo, who had just two points in the second half after a 14-10-8 line after intermission had a clear path to the hoop on the game’s final play but slipped on the floor, causing a airball pullup from 15-feer as time expired. Don’t be fooled by that miss though, the C’s missed plenty of point blank looks like from Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and suffered through a tough shooting night by Jason Terry (1-for-12) which weighed down the offense in the second half and cost the C’s multiple chances to help put the game away in regulation.

A tough one to swallow all things considered, but solid efforts from Jeff Green late and the return of some overall strong defense in stretches were the bright spots. These two go back at it in less than 24 hours back in Boston and Philly’s younger legs will make that one a tough challenge.

  • Mark

    The game was truly lost at the free throw line. Blame the point blank misses and the missed wide open threes if you want but 7 misses at the stripe is unacceptable to me especially when it’s Paul and KG at the end.

    • Phil

      7 misses at the free throw line is a pretty standard number. Hell, the free throw lines were almost identical (18/25-19/26) KG is a 79% free throw shooter who made 3/4.

      6 of 22 from 3 and 0 of 2 on point blank layups in crunch time were much more important.

  • elroz

    I just hope the Celtics will not put up a lethargic and disorganized stinker tomorrow – this is what they often do at home. At least on the road we often see them try..but at home they have been 1/2 men too often.

    Jason Terry's game was absolutely HORRID….he has nothing on defense and now his offense SUCKS…Courtney Lee and Terry tonight seemed to be less than one Ray Allen. I care not for Ray, but these two guys tonight made me actually think about Ray Allen. Great jobs you two duds. An airball from Lee?

    Boston has to start thinking about shipping one of the following three guards – Lee, Terry, Barbosa in a package with a big man + draft pick so they can get either Gasol or Gortat.

    How about Terry + Bass + draft pick for Gasol or Gortat?

    Or either Terry or Lee or Barbosa + Melo and Joseph, and a draft pick for Gortat or Gasol.?

    As for Rondo: he has always been dangly and out of control with his moves… he is not a guy that maintains balance and control when on offensive. It's one thing to dish all the time…but its another to be a good offensive player on your own. If you're afraid to take opportunities on offense – or if you're out of control and dangly – then that's a major drawback that will get exposed.

    • Phil

      Why would Phoenix, a rebuilding team who cares about money, take on a 35 year old shooting guard with a 5m dollar contract? Let alone give up one of the most cost effective young big men in the process?

      None of those Gasol trades work with the cap either. You need yo get up over 16m in salary going out.

      You have to include Bradley if you want something good. I don't know why people don't understand this. If you think the players suck and want them off the team, why do you think other teams would give up something good for them?

  • Mark

    Rondo slipped. Don’t make the last shot out to be more than it was. Judging by Doc’s reaction the last shot was for KG not Rondo. Still, Rondo slipped.

  • High Rollers

    Yeah, I saw Doc's face too, but it looked like a great find by KG before the slip. Rondo was well on his way to an uncontested point-blank layup. No guarantee that it goes in (especially on a night like tonight) but I still think KG's instinct would have been money if somebody hadn't installed a slip-and-slide out there. No denying there were a number of SMH moments out there, but this game shows the C's are making big strides in a lot of key areas, the biggest being defensive pressure. De Nile ain't just a river in Egypt; it's also what the C's put on serious display for much of this game. The only question I have is why is P's shot so flat lately? He looks plenty fit. Maybe he's just got the shanks.

    • CG12

      It looked like he slipped because he was pulling up, rather than going to the rim. And it sure looked he could have had an open layup. I couldn't believe it when KG missed that ointment blank up back, but that's how it goes sometimes. I agree that the D generally was very good last night. The rotations looked so much better. Sullinger is not fleet of foot, but he really gets what they are trying to do.

      • CG12

        *point blank put back.

      • High Rollers

        Yup, Sully's definitely made himself a part of things.

  • High Rollers

    Really can't wait to see Courtney bust out. Nothing like a crunch-time air ball to set off a good shooter. Maybe tomorrow night. But it's coming.

  • X-RIP-X

    Would someone explain something to me: Why the hell do you keep in a 35+ year old SG, who can't make shot to play 40+ minutes of so-so (if not bad) defense, when you have a great defensive SG on the bench?! Last 2 possessions aside, it is Lee who should have been in the lineup in OT, especially on the first night of a b2b.
    Don't get me wrong, I know what Terry can do, but tonight it was painfully obvious that he didn't have it (as same as Pierce from downtown).

    The Rondo slip and missed layups didn't help the matter, but SG spot is where Doc really dropped the ball.

  • OlSkool

    The reality is that until Green and Sullinger become consistent every game producers along with Bradley getting back this will be about a .500 team. They are by far the most talented players behind the top three guys. Bass, Lee and Terry clearly are just role players at this point. The team that could be a tough one at playoff time would have Sullinger and Bradley in the starting lineup and Green as the 6th man getting starter minutes. Trying to look from the glass half full prospective.

  • hitzy

    76ers baby!

  • jman

    This game was C's win all the way. To me it was on Doc for poor rotations. Needed fresh legs in OT. Also if Terry's game wasn't on, we have 3 other guards that are worth throwing in to mix up opponent defense. I agree with needing to lose someone for a trade to get a big man. #9 is highly valuable at the moment. Let's grab a all-star big man folks. All this team needs is a big man. There's plenty of guards and as you all think Bradley will be the saviour ,he can be point. Actually I think Bradley is a better Point than Rondo for the kid just plays the game. He listens to Doc's schemes and runs with them. Rondo tries to play on his own game, and to me that's when we start going to shit. I want players that play as a team win or lose. Rondo is great when he plays the system, when he falls away from that is when he sucks. And he stems away too much for me.

  • KevinG

    Still would prefer have someone other than Rondo take the last shot. I felt like KG should have taken the last shot even if Rondo would have made it.

  • The Commish

    Rondo has missed every game and quarter ending shot he has taken, and there have been lots of them. Enough of that stupidity! and trade Courtney Lee. Goodnight.

  • NZNICK33

    Rondo seems to slip on open layups quite a lot. Maybe he gets the jitters…