PHILADELPHIA — Paul Pierce had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Avery Bradley scored 22 to lead the Celtics to a 109-101 win over the 76ers on Tuesday night.
Kevin Garnett scored 18 as the Celtics continued a push in the East standings. The Celtics entered in seventh but were no more than two games behind the next three teams ahead in the standings.
Led by Pierce, the Celtics controlled the game and used a 9-0 run midway through the fourth to seal the win. In May, these two teams went to Game 7 of the East semifinals. Tuesday, the Sixers lost for the ninth time in 10 games and are well out of the playoff race.
Pierce hit his first four 3-point attempts. When the Sixers went on a mini-run to close within eight, Pierce and Jason Terry connected on consecutive 3s to build a comfortable lead.
Jrue Holiday had 18 points and 10 assists for the Sixers. There was some mild concern late in the fourth quarter when Holiday grabbed his right ankle and hobbled back on defense after an awkward drive. He hopped on one foot after a steal attempt but stayed in.
ibaka-griffin update: Clippers forward Blake Griffin had expected Thunder forward Serge Ibaka to be suspended and fined for striking him below the belt Sunday. Ibaka was called for a flagrant-1 foul, and the NBA announced Tuesday that Ibaka's foul was upgraded to flagrant-2 and he was fined $25,000 for striking Griffin in the groin area, but Ibaka was not suspended. "I'm not going to cry," Griffin said of the ruling. Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins had said he didn't think it was a flagrant foul, that Griffin took Ibaka's arm and "knocked him down" and that Griffin is known for "flopping anyway." Griffin said: "I think what he was trying to say was that I was grabbing (Ibaka's) jersey so I started it and I deserved to be hit where I was hit. But if I started swinging every time I got my jersey tugged at, I'd probably be swinging on every single play." Kobe Bryant weighed in that he probably would have "smacked (Ibaka) in the mouth." Griffin's response: "It's not really my job to start running around and punching people, because that really doesn't solve anything.''
around the league: Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is questionable tonight at the Pistons because of a stiff and sore right knee that has been an issue for several weeks. Even if he rests tonight it's not clear if he could play Thursday at the Thunder. Coach Mike Woodson said Anthony had asked to come out of Monday's game before he tripped over his own feet and fell as he made an awkward attempt to catch an outlet pass, and left for good. Woodson said he was too "stubborn" to listen to Anthony and regrets it now. … A flagrant-2 foul on Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea was changed to flagrant-1. He knocked down Heat guard Ray Allen with a chest bump Monday. … 76ers center Andrew Bynum, out all season with injuries in both knees, was re-examined, and surgery remained an option. … Eight October preseason games will be played in Europe, Asia and South America.
Celtics 109, 76ers 101
BOSTON (109): Pierce 6-10 2-2 18, Bass 2-5 1-1 5, Garnett 9-17 0-0 18, Bradley 10-15 0-0 22, Lee 2-7 0-0 5, Wilcox 2-6 0-0 4, Green 4-8 7-9 16, Terry 3-7 2-2 9, Crawford 4-7 2-2 12, Williams 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 42-83 14-16 109.
PHILADELPHIA (101): Turner 6-19 5-5 18, T.Young 9-20 1-3 19, Hawes 7-12 0-0 14, Holiday 6-17 6-6 18, Ivey 4-9 0-0 10, Moultrie 5-5 0-0 10, Wilkins 1-4 0-2 2, Wright 3-13 2-2 10, Allen 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 41-100 14-18 101.
Boston 26 27 26 30— 109
Philadelphia 23 23 28 27— 101
3-Point Goals—Boston 11-19 (Pierce 4-4, Crawford 2-3, Bradley 2-4, Green 1-1, Terry 1-2, Lee 1-3, Williams 0-1, Wilcox 0-1), Philadelphia 5-21 (Ivey 2-7, Wright 2-7, Turner 1-4, Holiday 0-3). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Boston 54 (Pierce 11), Philadelphia 52 (T.Young 10). Assists—Boston 34 (Pierce 7), Philadelphia 24 (Holiday 10). Total Fouls—Boston 16, Philadelphia 18. A—16,189 (20,328).