Our friends at Elias Sports Bureau provided some statistical nuggets in advance of Friday's Celtics-76ers showdown. Here are a few that jumped out to us:
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Celtics sharpshooter Ray Allen has been a lot more sharp after the first quarter this season.* The 76ers were 20-9 and trailed only Chicago (23-7) and Miami (22-7) in the Eastern Conference standings through games of Feb. 13. Since that date, Philadelphia has posted a 6-12 (.333) record, tied with Toronto for the third worst in the NBA ahead of only Charlotte (4-12, .250) and Washington (5-13, .278).
* Paul Pierce is averaging only 11 points per game and is shooting only 35.1 percent from the field (13-for-37) over his last four games played at the Wells Fargo Center.
* Elton Brand has not been to the free-throw line in any of the last five games he has played. That is the longest such streak of his career. Prior to his current streak, the most consecutive games Brand had ever gone without a free-throw attempt was three (2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons).
* The 76ers lead the NBA in lowest opponents’ field-goal percentage allowed (41.7 percent). The last time Philadelphia led the NBA in that category was in 1980-81.
* Rajon Rondo has registered 10+ assists in each of his last seven games. That is tied for the second-longest such streak of his career. Rondo had double-digits in assists in nine straight games during the 2010-11 season and in seven straight games during the 2009-10 season.
* Ray Allen is shooting only 34.6 percent from the field (36 for 104) in the first quarter of games this season. Only one player has a lower first-quarter field-goal percentage than Allen (min: 100 FG attempts): Corey Maggette (32.5). Allen’s field-goal percentage after the first quarter is 49.9 percent.
* The 76ers are 0-8 in games that have been decided by fewer than five points this season. Every other team in the league has won at least two such games this season.
* The average winning percentage of Boston’s 20 remaining opponents is .519. Only one Eastern Conference team has a tougher remaining schedule than the Celtics based on the average winning percentage of its remaining opponents: Toronto (.529). Philadelphia has the fifth easiest remaining schedule among East teams (.469).