The Boston Celtics gained back home-court advantage in their second round match-up against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, taking game three at the Wells Fargo Center by a final margin of 107-91. The visitors shot 51.9% (40-77) from the floor as Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo all racked up double-doubles with Garnett knocking down a game high 27 points. Forward Thaddeus Young came off the bench for Philadelphia to lead his team in scoring with 22 points while Jrue Holiday added 15 points in the loss. The home team shot just 40.7% (33-81) which would not be good enough to win their second straight contest.
Philadelphia has had problems dealing with prosperity all season long; they held the lead in the Atlantic Division for a good part of the campaign; however they slumped down the stretch and Boston would gain the division championship. The Sixers won in the second game of this series 82-81 and led at the end of the first quarter of Wednesday night’s game. Their offense would collapse in the second and third quarters and by the time they recovered their shooting touch in the fourth, they were in too deep a hole to climb out of.
The two opponents stayed close to each other in the first until the midway point, when Young connected on an outside jumper putting his team on top 14-12; an advantage they would not relinquish for the rest of the period. Lou Williams drained a 26 foot trey at the buzzer putting the Sixers ahead by a 33-28 margin.
Boston took advantage of their host’s stagnant offense in the second, grabbing a 56-43 lead when Mickael Pietrus buried a 25 foot trey with 1:38 left in the period. The Celtics would have to settle for being on top by 11 points with the score 60-49 as the two teams entered their locker rooms as the game reached the half.
Any hopes that the Sixers had of getting back into the game in the second half were quickly dashed as the Celtics held a double-digit lead for the entire third quarter; grabbing a 25 point margin as Ryan Hollins completed a layup, was fouled on the drive and hit his shot at the line giving Boston an 85-60 lead. The Sixers would trail 89-66 at the conclusion of the period. They would never get close to being competitive in the final 12 minutes of action.
The two teams will be back in Philadelphia on Friday for the fourth game of the series.