BOSTON -- Despite losing 13 of their previous 14 games, the Philadelphia 76ers felt like they had let wins against quality opponents slip away with an inability to close out games.
There were near-misses against Cleveland, Houston, and Charlotte. Finally, this scrappy group used the motivation of going against the best team in basketball to play until the final buzzer.
Elton Brand's putback with 7.7 seconds remaining lifted the 76ers to a stunning 98-97 triumph over the Celtics, ending Boston's 11-game winning streak Friday at the TD Garden.
“We were like, 'Aww, here we go again,'" said Brand, who came off the bench to score a game-high 23 points. "We’ve been here in the Cleveland game, the Detroit game... Charlotte with two minutes left. You know we’re much better than our record indicates. We should have closed out some of these games. We closed out a game with a team winning 11 in a row, the best in the league, it bodes well for our confidence.”
Echoed 76ers coach Eddie Jordan: "We made some great plays down the end, big plays. And for a long time, we’ve lost these types of games. We just kept saying we couldn’t get a break and we came to the conclusion that we have to make our breaks. We said that before and we made some breaks tonight.”