Celtics lose a close Game 2 in second round to Sixers
The Philadelphia 76ers’ aggressiveness disrupted the Celtics’ offense in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Monday night. And the Celtics were their own worst enemies as late-game execution miscues contributed to an 82-81 loss at TD Garden.
This was the fourth successive skin-tight contest for the Celtics, who concluded their first-round series against Atlanta with a 1-point loss and a 3-point victory. The Celtics staggered through much of Game 1 before taking a 92-91 decision over Philadelphia, generating a feeling that if they performed up to standards the second game would be theirs.
And that appeared to be happening as the Celtics scored the first 9 points of the game. But the Celtics’ offense struggled over the next 34 minutes, 10 seconds, producing only 40 points. Yet, the Celtics led by 4 late in the third quarter and might have pulled this one out but for an unexpected basket by rookie Lavoy Allen, clutch conversions by 21-year-old Jrue Holiday and 23-year-old Evan Turner, plus last-second fouls by Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo.