BOSTON — Evan Turner atoned for missing a potential tying free throw with 35 seconds remaining by hitting a shot when it mattered most.
The Philadelphia forward hit a pull-up jumper in the lane as time expired, rallying the 76ers to a 95-94 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.
“I just wanted to make sure we got the last shot,” said Turner, who finished with 16 points, six rebounds and eight assists. “Once we got across the court, I had enough time to do what I needed to do.”
Philadelphia, which ended a three-game losing streak, had the final chance after Boston forward Kris Humphries missed a jumper with 12 seconds left and 76ers rookie guard Michael Carter-Williams got the rebound, took it to midcourt and handed it off to Turner.
Turner had just blown a chance to tie it when he was fouled with 35 seconds remaining. He hit the first shot, but missed the second and Boston was still up by a point in a game Philadelphia led by as much as 14 early.
“I was still shocked I had missed the second free throw to tie up,” Turner said. “We pulled through and we came back from giving up a lead. But at the same time, we’ve got to finish off those free throws and make it easy on us.”
Philadelphia coach Brett Brown let his young players go on their own for it at the end instead of calling for a play after Carter-Williams, who had 10 points and seven assists, grabbed his fifth rebound on Humphries’ late miss.
“The random play is probably as good of an environment as you’re going to get often,” Brown said. “We decided to go with it and not call a timeout and we were lucky it worked.”
Center Spencer Hawes had 20 for Philadelphia, tying his career-high with four 3-pointers. Forward Thaddeus Young also scored 15 and guard Michael Carter-Williams had 10 points and seven assists for the 76ers, who overcame woeful foul shooting to win it.
The Celtics were 23 of 30 from the line and out-rebounded the 76ers 59-40, but also faltered late from the foul line and could not hold off Philadelphia’s final surge and Turner at the buzzer.
“I wish we could have kept him from getting to where he went, but it wasn’t from effort and it was from desire and it wasn’t from making him make a tough shot. But he made it,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. “Evan Turner has a history of doing that in these situations and that’s why I thought he’d shoot it.”
Jared Sullinger moved to center for the Celtics and finished with 24 points and 17 rebounds. Forward Jeff Green added 18 and Humphries came off the bench for 13 points and nine rebounds for Boston, which lost its fourth straight and sits alone in last place in the Atlantic Division.
“I think we have a good set of guys in here and that keeps our morale on a good level. We constantly come out and compete,” Sullinger said.
Guard Jerryd Bayless missed a pair of free throws with Boston leading 92-91 with 1:40 left and Young drew a foul while going for an offensive rebound at the other end with 1:23 remaining. The Philadelphia forward also missed both and Boston’s lead remained at one point before Carter-Williams went 1-for-2 from the line to tie it at 92-all with 1:01 remaining.
Humphries tipped in a rebound to put Boston back up 94-92 with 42 seconds left.
Turner was fouled before getting off a short jumper with 35 seconds left and made his first from the line, but missed the second with a chance to tie it again. Boston got the rebound and Humphries had an open look to extend the lead to three, but missed.
The 76ers led 74-71 entering the final period, but guard Chris Johnson hit a 3-pointer for Boston to tie it 31 seconds into the fourth and get the Celtics going on a 15-4 run. Green added a 3-pointer and Johnson hit again from beyond-the-arc to give Boston an 84-78 lead with 9:20 left to play.
The Celtics held Philadelphia without a point from Carter-Williams’ layup with 11:10 left in the game until guard James Anderson hit a 3-pointer with 7:22 remaining to cut Boston’s lead to 88-81.
Philadelphia trailed 26-23 after the first, then opened the second quarter on a 10-2 run and led 53-47 at halftime.