11 March 2012
In the second game as a starter, and coming off a 1-12 shooting night in the loss at Milwaukee, Evan Turner scored a career high 26 points and was by far the best player of the game to lead the Sixers to a memorable 103-71 trouncing of the Celtics.
Nearly twenty minutes of garbage time against a division rival like Boston was exactly what Sixers (23-17, .575) needed to get out of their funk.
The game plan was simple and obvious: run, run, run. Against an old team, in the second night of a back-to-back, coming off a tough overtime win (over Houston) there was nothing else to do. We managed to do it well. And it actually worked.
Sixers wasted no time in pushing the ball, playing uptempo, getting easy points in transition and taking a big lead: 20-11, then 33-17 at the end of the first. That was eventually extended in the second thanks to a 14-0 run that gave us a 49-21, stunning edge at one point in the second, 55-33 at halftime.
Game over, with the Big Three and Rondo soundly outrebounded, outhustled, outplayed: in a word, silenced.
Some interesting facts to highlight in this really enjoyable slaughter. (after the break)
1) With Evan Turner in the starting lineup, put in his comfortable "point forward" role, Holiday played basically OFF the ball. I liked how that developed, don't get fooled by Jrue's so-and-so stat line. Turner was guarding Rondo, by the way, and he made things tough for him: Rondo had only three points on 1/4 shooting at the half.
2) Turner posted up smaller players (like Rondo, again), scored on tough drives while being fouled, hit the mid range J regularly, had a thunderous fastbreak dunk (in the pic) and even knocked down a three. Basically all that he did NOT do in Milwaukee. Overall he looked focused, committed and confident.
Confidence can do wonders, yeah, but one should ask where did the confidence come from, after such an awful game like the one in Milwaukee (at least offensively). Numbers don't lie, 26 (11/19) + 8 + 2, taking my hat off to him, let's hope he keeps this going.
3) Vucevic didn't start this time but posted his first career double double, 14 + 12 in nearly thirty minutes. Really nice game.
4) also Brand responded well to my criticisms (LOL), putting 16 (7/9) + 8 in the decisive first half. Well done.
5) Sixers were without Thad Young !! Imagine if he would have joined the fastbreak party...
6) Andre Iguodala limited Pierce to just 16 points on 5/13 fron the field and added 10, 8 and 7 in less than 30 minutes. Stellar, "quite" game for him also. Wow.
I can't tell you how much I enjoy these blowout wins. And against the Celtics? Boy...