PHILADELPHIA — After a disastrous 27-win season, the Philadelphia 76ers started a new preseason under first-year coach Doug Collins much the same way — with three straight losses.
That finally changed on Tuesday night.
Marreese Speights scored 19 points and Lou Williams added 16 to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to their first preseason victory, 103-92 over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.
Jason Kapono and Jrue Holiday had 12 points each for the Sixers (1-3), who lost 93-65 to the Celtics on Oct. 6 in Manchester, N.H. Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young and Andres Nocioni all had 10 points for Philadelphia.
Speights scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, sparking the Sixers down the stretch as they pulled away to take a 91-79 lead with 5:27 left.
“That was an encouraging last 15 minutes of the game,” Collins said. “I thought we were dead in the water at the start of the third. Speights gave us a great lift off the bench.”
Nate Robinson scored 26 points, Glen Davis added 14 and Marquis Daniels had 12 for the Celtics (3-1), who primarily played reserves the whole game. Von Wafer and Luke Harangody had 11 points each while Jermaine O’Neal grabbed 12 rebounds.
The Celtics played without many of their regulars including guards Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen and Delonte West, forward Kevin Garnett and center Shaquille O’Neal.
“It was a great experience for them,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said, referring to his bench players.
Philadelphia trailed by 12 points early in the third quarter but rallied to take a 76-71 lead with 10:37 remaining.
“I feel great and the ball was going in the hoop,” Speights said. “That’s always good. It was a lot of fun out there.”
It was quite a chippy game on both sides with five technical fouls called. Speights, Holiday and Collins were given technicals while Robinson and Jermaine O’Neal got them for the Celtics.
The Sixers had struggled from 3-point range, going 6 for 46 in their first three games. But Philadelphia was 10 for 12 from long range against the Celtics.
Notes: Sixers C Spencer Hawes missed the game with a low back strain. Philadelphia F Thaddeus Young addressed the crowd before the game. The Celtics had 25 turnovers.