Sixers feeling confident heading back to Philadelphia

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Sixers feeling confident heading back to Philadelphia

BOSTON -- After a one-point loss to the Boston Celtics in the opening game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Philadelphia 76ers were determined to make the necessary adjustments to change the outcome in Game 2.

The end result was another one-point win, this time in the Sixers favor, which left the Celtics looking to do the same as they prepare for Game 3.

"It's all about execution," Elton Brand said following Philadelphia's 82-81 win. "Because the games come so fast, you don't get a lot of practice time. But we watched tons of film and our lack of execution was why we lost Game 1."

On Monday night at TD Garden, the 76ers limited the Celtics to just 13 points in the second quarter and 11 in the third. They held Rajon Rondo, who recorded a triple-double with 13 points, 17 assists, and 12 rebounds in Game 1, to 8 points, 13 dimes, and 7 boards. They also limited Kevin Garnett to 15 points, 14 less than on Saturday.

I think we saw the same type of game last game," said Evan Turner. "We spoke on our day off and we just all pulled together and believed we could win the game, and thats what really happened.

The Game 2 victory gave the 76ers a change in momentum as they return to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4 on Wednesday and Friday. After fending off the Garden crowd, they look forward to their own fans' support in the next two contests.

Its going to be really crazy," said Turner. "Its going to be a great game. Our fans are definitely excited and it's going to be great to be in front of them to compete.

Just as the Sixers did after Game 1, the Celtics will watch film and make adjustments. The next task for the 76ers will be holding off the C's fight in Game 3.

"Our young guys just keep growin and theyre really becoming men. Im so proud of them," said head coach Doug Collins. "Doc Rivers arguably the best coach in the NBA, and for our guys to just scrap through a game tonight. We just found a way. Again I have to tell you all season long we couldnt win these games and now our guys are believing they can do it, and it is pretty special to watch.

Crowder on Cousins' style: 'Step up to the test or you get run over'

Crowder on Cousins' style: 'Step up to the test or you get run over'

BOSTON – There was a point in the fourth quarter when Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins was fouled trying to score which brought about an automatic, intense and angry scowl from the all-star center. 

He raised his hand as he were going to strike back at the potential assailant. 

And then he saw the man was Jae Crowder. 

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Cousins, who had a game-high 28 points, then went to the free throw line, incident-free. 

“I’m not one those other cats he be punking,” said Crowder with a grin.

That moment was one of many throughout Friday night’s game when Crowder made his presence felt when the game mattered most, and wasn’t afraid to mix it up with whoever stood between him and helping the Celtics win – even Cousins. 

But as Crowder explained following Boston’s 97-92 win, that moment was about two physical players who have developed an on-the-floor rapport that speaks to their intensity and desire to win at all costs. 

“He’s going to bring the game to you; his physicality,” said Crowder who had 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting. “He’s a very physical type of guy. If he senses you’re not physical at all, he’ll let you know. He’s a dog down there; he’s a bull. I love to go against a player like that. He’s going to give you his best shot each and every night. You either step up to the test or you get run over.” 

As soon as the two made eye contact, Crowder knew it was one of the many intimidation methods used by Cousins against opposing players. 

Crowder wasn’t having it. 

“That’s my guy; he’s my guy,” Crowder said of Cousins. “He plays a lot of tactics against a lot of other players. I’ve earned that respect with him. He knows I’m going to fight him just as hard as anybody else. We leave it on the court. He’s a good friend of mine. We’ve become friends, just playing ball, playing basketball the right way.”