Kevin Garnett didn't play, and Elton Brand scored zero points in nine minutes. But Boston at Philadelphia still lived up to the hype it garnered back before we knew the Sixers wouldn't be elite. Paul Pierce pulled his Celtics within one point with a minute left. Andre Miller hit a jumper to creep the lead back to three, but Ray Allen deked Reggie Evans and nailed a trey to tie the game.
After a timeout Andre Iguodala, who had a marvelous game, drove into the key and hit a tough, tough jumper to give the home team a two-point lead with 6.5 seconds left. That, however, was a little too much time to leave Pierce and Allen.
After another set of timeouts, Allen passed off to Pierce at the top of the key and faded to the left corner, with Big Baby Davis setting a great screen. Pierce drove a few feet inside the arc, drew attention and fired the ball to Allen. The Sixers couldn't recover, and Allen nailed the three. Only a half-second left; Miller botched a lob attempt in the frontcourt.
The Celtics (the first team to 40 wins) have now won 12 straight heading into Thursday's national TV showdown/rematch with the Lakers. I imagine KG will be ready for that one. If not, the Lakers will still be on the back end of a road back-to-back, as L.A. visits Toronto Wednesday. In a perfect world, Boston wouldn't have KG rust and the Lakers wouldn't have "no Bynum" as excuses. But I think the game will be OK despite the circumstances. Just a hunch.