05/23/12 11:47 pm EST
|Elton Brand, PF 34 MIN | 5-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 10 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | +11
After struggling for much of the series–and the one that preceded it–Brand was large tonight for the Sixers. With 2:09 left, after KG cottoned a jumper to silence the “DEFENSE” chants echoing through the Wells Fargo Center and breath new life into beleaguered Boston, Brand buried a j to give the 7-6 a 78-69 lead and effectively ice Game 6.
|Andre Iguodala, SF 38 MIN | 4-11 FG | 3-7 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 12 PTS | +2
Iguodala’s shot was absolutely brutal on Wednesday — he missed a few free throws in a way that would get a kid cut from most middle school basketball teams — but his defense was stout, he attacked the rim, and he came through when the leverage was highest. Up six and on the line with under a minute left he drained a pair of FTs. Shades of the last series’ Game 6.
|Spencer Hawes, C 21 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | +8
The final numbers aren’t overwhelming, but Spencer turned it on in the back end. As the Sixers took and protected the lead after the half, he scored seven points on four shots.
|Evan Turner, SG 38 MIN | 5-11 FG | 2-5 FT | 9 REB | 4 AST | 12 PTS | +7
Entering the game shooting just 32 percent from the floor in the series, Turner had a (slightly) more efficient offensive night than we’ve come to expect and continued to do work on the glass.
|Jrue Holiday, PG 39 MIN | 7-15 FG | 6-6 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 20 PTS | +5
Holiday was outstanding tonight. He flummoxed the unflummoxable Rajon Rondo — who had absolutely owned the series first five games–and was perfect from the line on a night when the rest of the 76ers decidedly weren’t.
|Lou Williams, PG 27 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 11 PTS | +1
With Allen Iverson in the house, the hope was that his spiritual successor would recover from a sub-par Monday with a big performance. Well, that didn’t quite happen, but ll the same, Lou, after a miserable first half, was 4-of-8 from the floor after the half.
|Thaddeus Young, F 11 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -1
Thad struggled all game, and didn’t play a minute after the half.
|Jodie Meeks, G 13 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -2
Jodie Meeks did about as much to help the team win as I did tonight.
|Lavoy Allen, PF 19 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | +4
The defense was there – the Sixers, via ESPN Stats and Information, held the Celtics to under 40 percent shooting from inside five feet — but he didn’t do much on the offensive end. We’ll take it.
After the Jump, Six Things We Saw
1. The Sixers were outrebounded in Game 6 48-37 — and 14-7 on the offensive glass — but outscored Boston in the paint 42-16.
2. More from the peculiar stats department: The Celtics started the game an incredible — especially considering what happened every other time they shot the ball — 17-of-17 from the line, only to finish 3-of-6 down the stretch, while the Sixers started a miserable 5-of-14 and finished 12-of-14.
3. When the Celtics answered the Sixers 11-0 third quarter run with a quick five courtesy of Rondo and Pierce to tie things at 46, we all feared the worst. The Sixers, struggling — badly — to generate points had hit them with their best shot and the veteran Cs shook it off like a excitable terrier from the cuff of their jeans. The 7-6 battled though. They got to the line, connected, built the lead back to four by the end of the quarter, and never trailed again.
4. Holiday was the hero defensively for his work on Rondo, but the rest of the Sixers weren’t slouches either. Boston shot only 26-of-78 from the floor after scorching in Game 5 (Brandon Bass, who went 2-of-12 after looking like an All-Star on Monday was most emblematic of the difference in the C’s “O”)
5. The Sixers looked, for the entirety of the regular season — and much of 10-11 too, for that matter — like a team that was constitutionally incapable of winning close games. Not anymore. For each insurgent offensive burst of the trailing Celtics, the Sixers countered: Ray Allen hits a 3-pointer — they hit back. Kevin Garnett drains a deep two — Elton Brand hits a jumper to hold the lead where it is.
6. I spent most of yesterday night watching a Rocky 3 and 4, so take this with a rather large grain of salt, but I’m saying here the Celtics will be hard pressed — even on their home court — to hang in Game 7 with a Sixers team that is really starting to believe in itself.