Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/9

Game 1: Thursday, December 9th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 22nd
Game 3: Friday, March 11th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 5th

Celtics 102

(18-4, 8-3 away)

76ers 101

(7-15, 6-5 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    8:00 PM ET, December 9, 2010

    Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 29 27 25 21102
    PHI 32 23 25 21101

    Top Performers

    Bos: R. Rondo 19 Pts, 6 Reb, 14 Ast, 4 Stl

    Phi: A. Iguodala 14 Pts, 5 Reb, 11 Ast, 2 Stl

    Rajon Rondo hits Kevin Garnett on game-winning alley-oop with 1.4 seconds left

    Associated Press

    PHILADELPHIA -- Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo got it right when it mattered.

    Garnett banked in a shot off Rondo's alley-oop pass with 1.4 seconds left to give the Boston Celtics their ninth straight victory, 102-101 over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.

    "Rajon threw a perfect pass and I just banked it," Garnett said. "The crazy part about all that is that I messed that play up so many times in practice. It's only right that the basketball gods gave it to me tonight. It was a good win for us, a grind-out win. This team has been playing unbelievably."

    After Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala drove for a hook shot with 6.6 seconds left to give Philadelphia a 101-100 lead, Rondo flipped a pass from just outside the 3-point line to Garnett for the winner.

    "We worked on that last week," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "We tried to run it early and had bad timing. It's just funny how things work out. It's a low-clock play. The ball's in the best passer's hands, and you have shooters on the floor. The whole sell was Paul Pierce and it worked."

    Garnett then ended the game by intercepting the 76ers' inbounds pass.

    Ray Allen led Eastern Conference-leading Boston with 23 points, Rondo had 19 points and 14 assists for his 11th double-double of the season, Glen Davis added 16 points, and Garnett finished with 14.

    "It was a gutsy win," Pierce said. "It didn't seem like we had it all night. We couldn't get really consistent momentum in the game or get a consistent flow. But good teams find a way to win. There was good execution down the stretch."

    Jodie Meeks led Philadelphia with 19 points, including going 4-for-4 from three-point range. Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young had 16 each, and Elton Brand added 13 points and 14 rebounds.

    Trailing 80-72 with 2:39 left in the third, the Celtics rallied with a 9-0 run -- pulling ahead 81-80 lead on Rondo's 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds left in the period to set up a tight fourth quarter that featured 14 lead changes.

    Iguodala gave the Sixers two leads in the closing minute. Davis erased the first one with a 15-foot jumper before Garnett's winner.

    A crowd of 17,948 -- the 76ers' second-largest of the season -- packed into the Wells Fargo Center, many of them decked out in green and white.

    Neither team led by more than eight points.

    "What a heartbreaking loss," 76ers coach Doug Collins said. "They have so many different ways that they can attack on the offensive end. It was just a shame. It would have been an incredible win for us here tonight."

    Game notes

    Shaquille O'Neal, averaging 11.2 points this season for Boston, missed the game because of a sore right calf, while Jermaine O'Neal sat out with a sore left knee. ... Boston has won 11 of its last 13 games against Philadelphia and leads the series 238-176. ... Brand has seven double-doubles this season -- matching his total from 2009-10 -- and 368 in his career.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 102 101
    FGM-FGA 38-68 (.559) 37-81 (.457)
    3PM-3PA 7-12 (.583) 9-19 (.474)
    FTM-FTA 19-21 (.905) 18-23 (.783)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-33 15-39
    Assists 22 22
    Turnovers 15 12
    Steals 8 5
    Blocks 6 3
    Fast Break Points 20 22
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (1/0) 17 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 3 8

    Top Performers

    Rajon Rondo Rondo
    Points: 19
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 14
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 0
    Andre Iguodala Iguodala
    Points: 14
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 11
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0

    Research Notes

    This is the 2nd time in Kevin Garnett's Celtics career that he has made a field goal with under 2 seconds remaining with the Celtics trailing by 1 or tied to give Boston the win... The other came on Nov. 22, 2009 when he hit a jumper at the buzzer in OT to beat the Knicks 109-107

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