Beantown Battle: Sixers Ship Up to Boston for Round 2 vs. Celtics

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

21 hours after last night's 95-94 "Thilla in South Phila" OT win, the Sixers are back at it and square off against the Boston Celtics at Boston's TD Garden.

Imagine a scenario where Rajon Rondo whiffs on the game-winner, while Evan Turner bricks his last-second iso and promptly rebounds his own airball, sinking it with a finger-roll, and then follows it up with jumper in the lane to win the game.

Oh wait, that already happened. Last night.

Sure, the win wasn't quite textbook-pretty, but the gritty, physical play is indicative of the way Philadelphia matches up with Boston.

Expect more of the same animosity in tonight's game.

The real wildcard in tonight's matchup is whether the Sixers will be content with complacency as they were in Wednesday's game, or if that period of abysmal basketball is anchored firmly in the rearview.

Following a brutal beatdown by the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night, Sixers head coach Doug Collins told the media he was concerned about how his young team would react to facing adversity:

"This team hasn't been through anything together, so I don't know who they are. I worry about that. I worry about getting punched in the mouth a few times and how we're going to react. That's a huge concern for me.

It seems Collins doesn't have to worry quite as much, considering how resilient the Sixers were in last night's overtime win.


* Last night was the first time in Rajon Rondo's career that the Celtics lost when he posted a triple-double (16 pts, 14 ast, 10 rebs). They are now 13-1 when he notches a triple-double.

* Look for more unselfish team play to be the key in winning the second half of the back-to-back. Five Sixers finished the game in double figures last night: Evan Turner (26 pts), Thaddeus Young (17 pts), Jrue Holiday (15 pts), Jason Richardson (13 pts) and Spencer Hawes (10 pts).

* Another key to success for Philadelphia is to limit turnovers. The Sixers managed to pickpocket the Celtics 19 times in last night's win, while committing only 9 of their own turnovers.

* Swaggy P's return? Adding Nick Young back into the rotation after sitting out the past two games while nursing a hyperextended left toe would give Philadelphia that oh-so-familiar spark off the bench.

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