The Celtics capitalized on a comedy of errors from Philadelphia to start the game. Before the Sixers even scored a point, Jason Richardson missed an uncontested layup, and Isaiah Canaan dribbled the ball off his leg. Tyler Zeller scored two distinct baskets where nobody even rotated to him. At the 6:30 minute mark Zeller had outscored the entire 76ers team 10-7. Avery Bradley was shooting excellently in the first quarter too. He added 10 points of his own. The Celtics flat out dominated on both ends of the court, and took a 38-18 lead into the second quarter.
Boston began the quarter with an all-bench lineup. The Celtics didn't lose any ground on their lead with this group though. A lot of this comes from playing the dreadful reserves of Philadelphia, but Boston did their part too. Luigi Datome made a three and continued his ascent to Garden folk hero status. Jae Crowder scored a few points and added a steal. Phil Pressey was actually pretty bad offensively, but his energy was nice at least.
The starters came back in and things kept going well for Boston. Evan Turner was really effective on some isolation plays, scoring six points in quick succession.
Even when things went poorly, it just didn't matter. The Celtics went scoreless for nearly three minutes, but their lead was never threatened. The defense kept Philadelphia from putting together any run to speak of. With the offense struggling a bit, it was important for Boston to play well at the other end. They held the 76ers to just 30% shooting in the half. Boston finished the second quarter with a 23 point lead.
The 76ers showed a little life to start the third. They went on a nice run of shooting to cut the lead under 20 points. But, the Celtics responded by making eight straight shots of their own. Tyler Zeller was great on offense with 8 points in the quarter. Boston wasn't great on defense, but they did enough to keep the lead at 21 entering the fourth.
The final period featured a few highlight plays by the Boston bench. Phil Pressey made his first shot of the night after stripping Ish Smith and taking it coast to coast. Luigi Datome threw down a dunk a bit later that forced a Philadelphia timeout. Gigi also posted his third block of the night, setting a career high. The rest of the fourth was pretty uneventful, as the Celtics coasted to an easy victory.
Tyler Zeller and Avery Bradley were the notable performers for Boston tonight. Zeller scored 26 to go with five boards. Bradley put up a nice line of 20 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.
The Celtics are now tied with Indiana for the seven seed in the east. With a limited number of games left, they could use a few more easy wins like tonight.