Sixers steamroll Celtics, 103-71

Sixers steamroll Celtics, 103-71
March 8, 2012, 2:41 am
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PHILADELPHIA As the Boston Celtics clanged off one shot after another, you knew the C's would go into 'no excuses tonight' mode when all was said and done.

But the truth is they knew what happened, and so do the Sixers.

After playing back-to-back overtime games, the Celtics were simply too pooped to play at a high enough level needed to beat Philadelphia.

The Sixers, who hadn't played since Monday, pounced on the heavy, hardly moving legs of the C's on the way towards a 103-71 win.

Leading the way for the Sixers (23-17), who remain atop the Atlantic Division, was second-year wing man Evan Turner. He had 26 points for the Sixers who came into Wednesday's game having lost eight of their previous 10 games.

And the result, to no one's surprise, was a beating unlike anything the C's have experienced this season.

Put it like this.

Boston (20-18) was down by 16 ... after one quarter of play.

And at the half, Boston had just as many points (33) as the Sixers had rebounds (31).

The lack of energy was apparent at both ends of the floor.

Offensively, Boston didn't run the floor nearly as well as we had saw in their previous games. Defensively, Philadelphia had too many lightly contested or uncontested shots that to their credit, they made more often than they missed.

At the half, Boston trailed 55-33.

As bad as it was for the Celtics, it had the potential to be even worse if not for a sickness that kept key reserve Thaddeus Young out of the lineup. He averages 13.2 points per game, and is the team's third-leading scorer.

The focus for Boston to start the third quarter had to be on chipping away at Philadelphia's huge lead, hopefully getting the deficit down into the teens heading into the fourth quarter.

That plan, like just about every other one, didn't quite work out how the C's had hoped.

Instead of cutting into Philadelphia's lead, the Sixers began to crush the Celtics even more and took a 27-point lead into the fourth as the Celtics' core players watched the onslaught from the bench.

HOT SHOT: As a former No. 2 overall pick who hasn't exactly shined as an NBA player, Evan Turner has drawn some comparisons to another first-round flop taken with the No. 2 overall pick (by Detroit in 2003), Darko Milicic. Well Turner proved on Wednesday that he's a lot closer to being dominant than Darko, leading the way for Philadelphia with a game-high 26 points along with nine rebounds.

"He was absolutely wonderful tonight," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "I thought he was the key guy in the game. It's probably why he was drafted so high."

IN-N-OUT: It has to be Ray Allen, who literally could not make a shot all game. Not that he had many opportunities -- five, actually. But to see Allen score just two points -- both from the free throw line -- while missing every shot he took is indeed a rare moment. It was nearly two years to the day -- March 9, 2010 against Milwaukee -- that Allen played in a game and did not make a single basket. He was 0-for-3 that night in a loss to the Bucks.

"I don't think I was ever in the flow of the offense," Allen said. "Offensively, we just didn't have a flow. I was just a victim of a bad offensive flow."

SUPER SUB: Sixers rookie Nik Vucevic was among those getting in on the scoring binge against the Celtics, tallying his first career double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

TURNING POINT: Philadelphia's Jrue Holiday knocked down a jumper 12 seconds into the game. From there, the Sixers lead just continued to grow and grow and

BY THE NUMBERS: 8: That would be the number of 3-pointers taken -- and missed -- by Boston. It was the first time the C's did not hit a single 3-pointer since Jan. 22, 2009 against Orlando.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We know this team isn't 30 points better than us. I don't like to make excuses, but we know we're a better team than we showed tonight." - Celtics forward Paul Pierce.