Now that's what we're talking about. After a pair of one-point games, the Boston Celtics said "enough of this" and took it to the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series, obliterating the competition 107-91 on Philly's own court.
Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo combined for 74 of Boston's points, while Rondo had 14 assists and Garnett added 13 rebounds, one more than Pierce's 13, in what was a one-sided game from the opening tipoff through to the final buzzer. They'll get to resume the series in Philadelphia on Friday with Game 4.
This was the game we've been waiting for all postseason long; a game in which everybody clicks together and they truly live up to their spot on the NBA futures list. Sure, 91 points against doesn't look mind boggling, but it's not like Boston's lead was ever in jeopardy, so not overexerting themselves on the offensive side was okay, just as long as Philadelphia was never let back into the game.
Debates rage about which are the most important in a seven game series, but almost always, Game 4 proves to be a turning point, especially in the NBA. With a 2-1 series lead, the Celtics can either put their foot on the neck of the 76ers with a win, or drop the game and essentially turn the series into a best-of-three.
Hopefully this game puts to rest the idea that the Celtics are too old to compete with the younger, quicker 76ers. "Respect your elders" may apply, supposing the rest of that adage reads "or else they'll beat you to a pulp on the court."
That said, Boston will need Pierce to continue playing through the pain of his MCL injury in Game 4. It may be vitally important to finish the 76ers in five games and wait for the end of the Heat-Pacers series, and hope that one goes the distance. The more rest, the better at this point for any team.
This sets up Friday's Game 4, back in the Wells Fargo Center. Bovada has the best NBA betting odds for this one and all the other games in the conference semifinals. Hopefully the Celtics can dominate this one too and drive the fans toward the exits with even more than six minutes left in the game.
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