The Boston Celtics looked like a team that didn’t get their wake-up call this morning, seemingly sleep walking through long stretches in the first half in their early afternoon matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers.
But the Celtics rose to occasion in the second quarter as they put together a series of good plays at both ends of the floor to pull ahead for a 51-46 lead at the half.
Boston fell behind by as many as eight points (33-25) in the second quarter, but reeled off seven straight points which included a 3-pointer by Gerald Green that cut Philly’s lead to 33-32.
The Celtics began to play more alert at both ends of the floor courtesy of an 11-0 run that put them ahead 36-33.
Philadelphia’s Dario Saric broke the Celtics’ run with a lay-up that cut Boston’s lead to 36-35.
But that didn’t do much to stop a Boston 20-5 surge that was capped off by a fade-away jumper by Avery Bradley that put Boston ahead 45-38 (Boston’s biggest lead of the game at this point) with 2:48 to play in the half.
The Celtics remained ahead the rest of the half, although head coach Brad Stevens could not have been pleased with the Sixers’ last-second offensive rebound by Richaun Holmes that he converted into the final points of the quarter.
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Sunday’s game against Philadelphia.
Al Horford: He was the Celtics’ most consistent performer, making his presence felt at both ends of the floor. At the half, he had 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting along with four rebounds and three assists.
Dario Saric: He has emerged as a front-runner for the NBA’s rookie of the year award, and the Celtics saw first-hand why. He led all players at the half with 14 points to go with four rebounds and an assist.
Robert Covington: Like Horford, Covington didn’t waste any time getting on track offensively. He had 11 points and five rebounds.
Terry Rozier: He has been struggling with his shot of late, so he was more than due for a good game shooting the ball. He led all Celtics off the bench with 12 points, connecting on 4-for-6 shots to go with five rebounds.
Avery Bradley: The Celtics’ two-guard made the most of his opportunities to score in the first half. He had 10 points on 5-for-8 shooting with two rebounds and an assist.
Richaun Holmes: His rim protection and timely baskets around the rim were huge for the Sixers in the first half. He had six points on 3-for-4 shooting with three rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.
Jaylen Brown: He was better than we saw at Brooklyn on Friday night, but still looks to be a bit off his game. At the half, he had two points on 1-for-4 shooting.