Sixers 92, Celtics 83
PHILADELPHIA — Andre Iguodala scored five clutch points in the final 1:22 Friday night as the Philadelphia 76ers stormed back from a 17-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Boston Celtics 92-83 in Game 4 of their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Iguodala, who finished with 16 points, snapped an 83-83 tie with a jumper from the left wing with 1:22 remaining, then added a 3-pointer from the right corner with 36 seconds to play as the Sixers evened the best-of-seven set at two games apiece. Game 5 is scheduled for Monday in Boston.
Evan Turner also scored 16 and Lou Williams added 15 for the Sixers, who reeled off the night’s last nine.
Boston’s Paul Pierce led all scorers with 24 points. Teammate Rajon Rondo had 15 points and 15 assists, and Brandon Bass scored 15.
Boston stretched a 15-point halftime lead to 50-33 early in the third quarter, only to see the Sixers go on a 35-15 run to take a 68-65 lead with nine minutes left in the game. Williams scored nine of his points in that flurry and Turner eight.
Jodie Meeks’ 3-pointer put the Sixers ahead 66-65, and Turner’s fast-break dunk made it a three-point game.
The lead changed hands seven times over the next 7:22, until Rondo tied it on a layup with 1:38 to play. Then Iguodala hit his jumper over Ray Allen to make it 85-83. And after a Rondo miss, Iguodala drilled his 3-pointer.
Meeks tacked on four free throws in the final 32 seconds.
The Celtics scored the game’s first 14 points, five of those by Pierce and four by Bass, and later stretched their lead to 18-3. And while the Sixers crept within six at one point in the second quarter, Boston held a 46-31 advantage at halftime.
By that point the Celtics were shooting 52.8 percent from the field, the Sixers 23.1 percent. Philadelphia also missed eight of its 21 free throw attempts.
Bass had 13 points in the first half. Pierce added 12, while Rondo contributed nine points and nine assists.
Holiday topped the Sixers with 10 points.
Notes: Sixers coach Doug Collins elected not to change his starting lineup, despite the struggles of power forward Elton Brand, who had 14 points and nine rebounds over the first three games, and the fact that rookie Lavoy Allen has defended Garnett better than any other Sixer. Collins said he respected Brand “to the ultimate,” and added, “The guys that are out there fighting for you every single night, I think you’ve got to give them a chance.” … Celtics coach Doc Rivers called Rondo “as smart of a player as (he has) ever been around” and noted that sometimes Rondo calls the play the coach was going to call before Rivers ever gets a chance. “It’s nice to have a guy who wants to think the game for the team,” Rivers said. “A lot of players think the game individually for themselves: What play can I run for me? He thinks what play works for the team.” … Boxer Bernard Hopkins, a Philadelphia native, was part of the sellout crowd. … Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, who signed a contract extension Wednesday, was also on hand. He was joined by teammates Fletcher Cox and Jason Avant.