The Celtics survived a furious rally by the 76ers, winning, 113-110, in a game that ended with a wild finish.
The sellout crowd of 18,624 was in shock as the Celtics trailed by three with just over 10 minutes to go. That's when the Celtics finally decided to turn it on.
First Paul Pierce (27 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists) hit a 3-pointer. Then Rasheed Wallace buried a three and Rajon Rondo followed that up with a layup. The Celtics opened up the fourth quarter with a 13-2 run, and by the midway point of the quarter, they had their biggest lead of the game up to that point, 100-91.
The 76ers made one last push and slashed Boston's lead to 107-105 with 1:20 left after two Andre Iguodala (25 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists) free throws, and an Eddie House (13 points) missed 3-pointer on Boston's ensuing possession set up a wild finish.
Thaddeus Young (17 points, 6 rebounds) tried to drive to the basket and he was stripped by Rondo, which lined up a Celtics 2-on-1 fastbreak scoring opportunity. Ray Allen (18 points, 5 rebounds) missed a layup, however, and Philadelphia was off to the races.
Pierce stood his ground and took a charge on a Iguodala drive, getting the ball back for Boston. The Celtics used the entire shot clock, and Rondo knocked down a turnaround 17-foot baseline jumper with 9.6 seconds left to make it, 109-105.
Iguodala buried a 3-pointer from the top of the circle with four seconds left, and Philadelphia fouled Ray Allen with 3.3 seconds left.
Allen calmly walked to the free throw line, sank both free throws to give the Celtics a three point lead, and after a timeout, the Celtics fouled Young so that Philadelphia could not heave up a potential game-tying 3-pointer. Young made both free throws to make it a one point game with 2.7 seconds left
The 76ers fouled House with 1.8 seconds left and he sank both free throws to seal the win. The Celtics fouled Jason Kapono (20 points) with 1.4 seconds left and he missed both free throws to end any hopes of a Philadelphia miracle finish.