BOSTON -- Rajon Rondo resumed his role as Mr. Triple Double for the first time since the game he tore his ACL last season, but even that wasn't enough to save the Boston Celtics as the Philadelphia 76ers, the tankiest team in the NBA, scored a 111-102 triumph on Friday night at TD Garden:
THE NITTY GRITTY
Rajon Rondo produced his 29th career triple-double -- and first since the game he tore his ACL in Atlanta on Jan. 25, 2013 -- as he put up 11 points, 16 assists, and 11 rebounds over 38 minutes. Michael Carter-Williams, the Hamilton native and Rookie of the Year candidate, responded with 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting with six assists and six rebounds, while Henry Sims added 24 points (while shooting a whopping 18 free throws) to go along with nine rebounds. Jerryd Bayless scored a team-high 23 points for Boston, which put six players in double figures for scoring.
The Celtics were down nine early in the fourth quarter, but made it a one-possession contest with six minutes to play and it seemed like only a matter of time before they cranked it up a notch against a 76ers team that had lost 28 of its last 29 games entering Friday's tilt. It didn't happen. Carter-Williams scored Philadelphia's next seven points before Thaddeus Young added consecutive baskets as Philadelphia stretched its lead to 10 with little more than two minutes to play.
The 76ers shot 50.6 percent overall (39 of 77). ... The Celtics turned the ball over 22 times leading to 23 points ... Phil Pressey, all 5-10 of him, threw down a two-handed jam in the fourth quarter as Boston was rallying. ... The game featured a sellout crowd of 18,624, many of which spent the latter part of the third quarter doing the wave.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics (23-53) have now lost seven straight and 12 of their last 13 overall. Boston will own the fourth worst record in basketball (though Utah could remain tied with them pending Friday's late game against the Pelicans). The Celtics will close out a back-to-back on Saturday night in Detroit, then take three days off before visiting Atlanta on Wednesday night.