Rapid Reaction: Celtics 109, 76ers 101

Howard Smith/USA TODAY Sports

Boston's Kevin Garnett tries to slow Philadelphia's Evan Turner.Rapid reaction after the Boston Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 109-101 on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center:


Avery Bradley showed he can be a game-changer on the offensive side of the ball, scoring a season-high 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and five assists to pace a sloppy Boston squad to a win on the first night of a road back-to-back. Paul Pierce added 18 points on just 10 shots (making all four 3-pointers he put up) while adding 11 rebounds and seven assists. Jeff Green (16 points) and Jordan Crawford (12 points) provided a bench spark for Boston, which had five players in double figures while shooting 50.6 percent from the floor (and 57.9 percent from beyond the 3-point arc). Thaddeus Young (19 points, 10 rebounds) and Evan Turner (18 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists) paced the 76ers.


A Boston turnover spree -- they finished with a season-high 22 -- helped chip a 12-point advantage down to five in the final 73 seconds of the third quarter. Unfazed, the Celtics opened the fourth frame on a 9-0 burst highlighted by a pair of Crawford buckets -- a 3-pointer and one of those cover-your-eyes drives through traffic for a layup -- as Boston opened an 88-74 lead with 9:27 to play.


The Celtics turned the ball over just twice in the first quarter, but got particularly careless with the ball in the second half. Boston finished with a season-high 22 turnovers that Philadelphia parlayed into a whopping 30 points, staying in the game in the process. The 76ers, who entered as the second-best team in the league in terms of turnover percentage, gave the ball up 14 times (leading to 19 points).


This one won't get premium placement in the 2012-13 season scrapbook -- it was an ugly, ugly win -- but Boston has won three straight to move a season-best five games over .500 at 32-27. The Celtics nudge within 1½ games of the fourth seed (lurking behind a cluster of Chicago, Brooklyn and Atlanta). Boston doesn't get much time to savor it as it departs immediately for Indiana and the second night of a back-to-back against the Pacers (a potential playoff preview as, if the season ended tonight, it would be the East's 2-7 matchup).