Celtics, Sixers renew rivalry in Boston
(Sports Network) - A pair of Atlantic Division foes will resume their rivalry Friday evening when the Boston Celtics host the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden.
Both teams enter the night with 2-2 records on the season and the Celtics are aiming for a third straight victory.
Philadelphia won two of three meetings against the Celtics last season, but Boston has taken five of eight and 11 of 15 overall in the series. The Sixers also have dropped three in a row and six of their last seven games in Beantown. The Celtics beat the Sixers in seven games during last season's Eastern Conference semifinals.
After beginning the 2012-13 campaign with losses to Miami and Milwaukee, the Celtics righted themselves with consecutive wins against the Washington Wizards. Boston posted an 89-86 win in D.C. on Saturday before earning an overtime win over a visiting Washington club on Wednesday.
The Celtics registered Wednesday's 100-94 win over the Wizards behind double- doubles and stifling defense late from Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo.
Garnett, who tallied 20 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks and a steal, grabbed a huge board off a Chris Singleton miss in overtime and passed to Rondo, who found Brandon Bass underneath the basket for an uncontested dunk to all but seal the victory.
Rondo posted his fourth-straight double-double with 18 points and 14 assists, while Pierce totaled 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics.
"You knew coming into this night, no matter who you're playing, when you're play a team back-to-back games, you give them three days, you knew it'd be a tough game," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "But we made it so much harder."
Boston is 1-1 as the host this season and will follow Friday's home test with two straight on the road.
The Sixers were blown out in a home-and-home set with the New York Knicks over the weekend, but they managed to get back in the win column with Wednesday's low-scoring win in New Orleans. Jrue Holiday posted a double-double with 14 points and 12 assists and Evan Turner added 14 points and eight rebounds to lead Philly to a 77-62 victory in the Big Easy.
Thaddeus Young also notched a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards and Lavoy Allen added 12 points for the Sixers. Spencer Hawes chipped in 11 points, six rebounds and three blocks in the win.
"We were so out of sync in the first half we had 14 turnovers and I told our guys that last year we had a playoff game and we only have a total of five for the game," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "We were just careless, but in the second half we had nine straight stops."
The Sixers have played the last two games without Jason Richardson and the veteran guard/forward will sit out again Friday with an ankle injury. Of course, Philadelphia center Andrew Bynum has missed the whole season so far and is still sidelined indefinitely with his knee injury.
Philadelphia is playing the middle test of a three-game road trip and will complete the swing Saturday in Toronto.
11/09 11:08:04 ET