Rookie guard helps 76ers hold off Celtics

Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk takes a shot as Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young defends during the second quarter of the game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Monday night.
John Geliebter | USA Today Sports
Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk takes a shot as Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young defends during the second quarter of the game at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Monday night.
Posted April 14, 2014, at 10:04 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA — Rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams had 21 points, a career-high 14 rebounds and six assists Monday night as the Philadelphia 76ers held off the Boston Celtics 113-108.

Backup guard Tony Wroten added 20 points for the Sixers (18-63), who snapped a four-game losing streak in their final home game of the season. Forward Thaddeus Young had 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Rookie center-forward Kelly Olynyk had a career-high 28 points to lead Boston (25-56), which saw reserve guard Chris Johnson knock down an apparent game-tying 3-pointer with 0.9 of a second left. It was ruled, however, that Johnson stepped on the right sideline before he released the ball, negating the shot.

Forward Jeff Green added 27 points and guard Avery Bradley contributed 23 for the Celtics, who saw a two-game winning streak end. Guard Rajon Rondo finished with eight points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds.

The Sixers, who led by 17 points in the third quarter, saw Boston cut the gap to two by the end of the period.

Philadelphia assembled a 9-2 run early in the final period to increase its lead to 97-88 with 8:02 left, as Wroten and backup forward Brandon Davies scored four points each.

Boston rallied behind Green, who crammed eight points into a 1:36 span, and Olynyk. The rookie’s two free throws with 1:59 to play cut the gap to two, at 105-103.

Carter-Williams made a free throw with 1:42 left, then stole Olynyk’s pass. That led to two free throws by Wroten with 1:24 to play, giving Philadelphia a 108-103 lead.

Center Henry Sims then answered a jumper by Olynyk with one of his own with 25.1 seconds left, giving the Sixers a 110-105 lead.

Still Boston wasn’t done. Green’s three free throws with 15.3 seconds left cut the gap to 111-108, and the Sixers then turned it over. Johnson then stepped out of bounds before his potential tying shot.

Boston burst out to a 21-11 lead early in the game, as Green scored eight points and Bradley seven. But by the end of the quarter the Sixers had drawn even, at 33-all, and early in the second period Philadelphia ripped off 12 straight points, four of those by Davies, to go up 49-38.

In all the Sixers outscored Boston 34-17 in the second quarter to claim a 67-50 halftime lead. Carter-Williams collected 12 points and eight rebounds in the half, and the Sixers shot a robust 59.6 percent. Wroten added 11 points and Young and reserve guard Elliot Williams contributed 10 each in the first half.

Green led Boston with 14 in the half.

The Sixers were still leading by 17, at 82-65, with 5:04 left in the third quarter. But Boston finished the quarter on a 19-4 spree to close the gap to 86-84. Bradley had 11 of those points, and Johnson buried a pair of 3-pointers.

NOTES: Sixers first-year coach Brett Brown said before the game he “really loved this year, in a very strange way.” At the same time, he added, “This hall pass, to a point, is getting a little bit over. We need to make progress in a different way next year, with our own.” … Boston coach Brad Stevens is also nearing the end of his first season. “It wasn’t tougher than I bargained for necessarily, but it’s been tough. It just never stops. … I think that you always have to be in the moment.”… C/F Jared Sullinger (ankle), G Jerryd Bayless (knee) and C/F Kris Humphries (knee) did not play for Boston. … Second-year F Arnett Moultrie returned to the Sixers on Monday after serving a five-game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy.

 

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