5 things we learned in the Celtics’ win over the winless 76ers
|11.19.14 at 9:39 pm ET|
The Celtics arrived in Philadelphia on a three-game losing streak, but they had to feel confident knowing they would be facing off against a horrid 0-10 76ers team.
In the end, it wasn’t pretty, but the Celtics got the job done with a 101-90 victory for their second road win of the season, improving to 4-6 overall.
Here are five things we learned in the victory:
THE CELTICS PLAYED DOWN TO THE COMPETITION IN THE FIRST HALF
The Celtics came into the game sporting the third-best offense in the NBA, but the scoreboard read just 46-46 at halftime. The C’s matched the 76ers with 10 turnovers while getting outrebounded 27-19 by Philly — never good things when facing a winless opponent that ranks last in the league in rebounding.
Had it not been for 12 points from Brandon Bass off the bench, this one could have slipped away early. Bass was really the only player that put forward a noteworthy performance in the first half — he shot 5-for-8 in his 13 minutes.
THE BENCH VETERANS WERE KEY
Brad Stevens would have been in a whole lot of trouble in this one without key contributions from veterans off the bench. Bass’ strong first half carried over to the second half, while Marcus Thornton came up big as well.
Bass wound up with a game-high 23 points to go along with six boards, and Thornton finished with 13 points while also coming up with four steals.
THE CELTICS CLOSED OUT A GAME
After letting three home games in a row slip through their fingertips, the green finally sealed the deal late with a win. Sure it was against a brutal opponent, but in was a win on the road in the NBA. Stevens will take it. After a string of frustrating late losses, this victory could offer the Celtics some positive momentum going forward.
Jared Sullinger was key in making sure Boston cam out victorious, scoring 18 of his 22 points in the second half.
THIS GAME WAS SLOPPY
You can look at the turnovers in the box score, but that won’t tell you the full story of this game — it was ugly to watch. Despite their record, the Celtics have been an exciting team to watch so far this season. They are fast-paced, young and athletic, but it was tough to tell on Wednesday.
Boston missed a lot of easy shots and struggled even to get off a shot on other possessions. The C’s are going to have to tighten up their game when they play in Memphis on Friday. The Grizzlies currently have the NBA’s best record.
THE 76ERS ARE HORRIBLE BEYOND BELIEF
Entering Wednesday’s game, Philly was just one of six teams ever to begin a season 0-10. One of those teams was the 1972-73 Philadelphia squad that finished with a record of 9-73, but this team might be worse. They are an average defensive team, but given how much they struggle to score, it’s tough to see them winning their first game anytime soon.
This speaks to how poorly the Celtics played to make this game a contest until the end. However, when a below average Celtics team can come in and pick up a road win on what was clearly an off night, that’s never a good sign for the home squad.
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