76ers blow out Celtics in preseason play, 107-75

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76ers blow out Celtics in preseason play, 107-75

PHILADELPHIA Sloppy play in the regular season or the preseason, is usually going to bring about the same result - a loss.

This is a lesson the Boston Celtics unfortunately find themselves repeating after a turnover-prone performance that ended with a 107-75 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Boston (1-3) went into the game with Kevin Garnett sitting out and Paul Pierce's minutes slated to be limited.

Even with more Garnett, that still may not have been enough to mask the many mistakes made by the Celtics.

Doc Rivers likes the C's to keep their turnovers to 14 or less per game.

At the half, Philly had 14 points off of 14 Celtics turnovers which as it turned out, just happened to be equal to the halftime deficit (56-42) that the C's were facing. Boston had a similar turnover-filled first half in their first preseason game, a loss to Fenerbahce Ulker in Istanbul, Turkey last week.

In addition to the turnovers, Boston also had its share of problems defending Spencer Hawes.

Hawes came off the bench to score 13 of his 17 points in the first half, taking advantage of Philadelphia's dribble penetration that left him either open or wide open enough to where Darko Milicic, Jason Collins or Jared Sullinger could not rotate out quick enough to contest his shot.

Along with no Garnett, Boston was also planning to play Pierce in the first half only. He had seven points and four rebounds at the half, but he also committed four of the C's first-half turnovers. Pierce finished with a team-high 16 points.

In addition to Hawes off the bench, Philadelphia got solid all-around play from its starters who each had at least four points in the first half.

Boston cut into Philadelphia's double-digit lead in the third, but Philadelphia's ball-movement and Boston's inability to get defensive stops put the game away in the third which ended with the Celtics trailing 84-63 going into the fourth.

It didn't get any better for Boston in the fourth, with the Sixers continuing to capitalize on the Celtics' mistakes and shoddy defense which included an uncontested driving dunk down the middle of the lane by Nick Young that pushed the Sixers lead to 92-63.

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics struggling with three-pointers

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Halftime stars, studs and duds: Celtics struggling with three-pointers

You knew the 3-point shots were going to be flying all game long when the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets tipped off Monday night. 
 
Now whether they would go in, that’s another matter entirely. 
 
Boston’s struggles with knocking down the long ball played a pivotal role in them going into the half trailing the Houston Rockets, 58-48.
 
Houston, the NBA’s leader in three-pointers made (14.0) and taken (37.0), were 8-for-21 in the first half on 3s while the Celtics were a not-so-impressive 5-for-18.
 
Despite the shooting struggles, Boston managed to lead 37-36 after a driving lay-up by Jaylen Brown. 
 
But the Rockets had too much firepower and when they weren’t knocking down shots, they were getting to the free throw line where there 18-for-20 compared to Boston which was just 1-for-2.
Here are the first half Stars, Studs and Duds from Monday’s game. 

 

STARS
 
James Harden

The MVP candidate was bringing it all areas, scoring 21 points to go with seven assists. But he was far from perfect, evident by his six turnovers. 
 
Isaiah Thomas

He led the Celtics with 11 points, but looks to be growing frustrated with the lack of calls going the Celtics’ way. Near the end of the second quarter, Thomas was grimacing while holding his right groin. But it didn’t appear to be too big a deal as he hit a 3-pointer just moments later. But it’s worth keeping an eye on in the second half. 
 

STUDS
 
Jaylen Brown

He gave Boston a surprisingly strong lift off the Celtics bench. At the half, he had seven points which included a lay-up that put Boston ahead 37-36.

Trevor Ariza

He doesn’t get a ton of attention, but Ariza’s play has been one of the keys to Houston’s success this season. At the half he had 10 points and six rebounds.

 

DUDS
 
Jonas Jerebko

He got the start tonight, but looks nothing like the high-energy, impact player he has been of late while coming off the bench. He was scoreless in the first half while missing all three of his shot attempts.