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.