Philadelphia avoided repeating their Game One mistakes and held on for a 82-81 road triumph over Boston on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) as they out-dueled the Celtics late to tie their Eastern Conference semi-final playoff series.
After blowing a 10-point advantage in the fourth quarter to lose the series opener on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), the youthful 76ers again saw a late lead disappear but battled hard to even the best-of-seven series 1-1.
Jrue Holiday scored a team-high 18 points while Evan Turner made a go-ahead scoop shot with 40 seconds left and added two key free throws during a rugged struggle that heated up in the final quarter.
Ray Allen made two three-pointers in the final minute and a half and paced Boston with 17 points.
Kevin Garnett added 15 and 12 rebounds and made a three-pointer as time expired to shave the final deficit, but he was also called for a crushing offensive foul with 10 seconds left and his team down by three.
The Celtics, heavily favored in the series against eighth-seeded Philadelphia, which took advantage of an injured Chicago team to move past the first round, again trailed by 10 late in the third.
Boston caught the visitors with about four and a half minutes left and from there both teams traded big shots during a thrilling final stretch.
Game Three is Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) in Philadelphia. - Reuters