PHILADELPHIA -- After the Celtics blew an 18-point second-half lead in a 92-83 loss to Philadelphia in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference playoff series, there were many areas to blame. They turned it over 17 times and allowed 17 offensive rebounds. They also gave up 36 free throws and the Sixers had a 30-12 advantage at the line after three quarters.
"The free throw line tells the story," Rivers said. "Thirty six attempts to nineteen. That’s tough to win that way. Everything we did was the prescription that you don’t do to beat them. 17-5 offensive rebounds, 17 turnovers, 36 free throws. You would have thought that we were down the whole game if you looked at those numbers, yet we had the lead."
The Celtics were whistled for four fouls in the first three minutes and five seconds of the third quarter as Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass and Rajon all wound up in foul trouble. Kevin Garnett and Ryan Hollins were also called for technical fouls as were Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes. Rivers said his team lost their composure.
"When you have a chance to go up 3-1 in a series and you’re up, what else are they going to do? That’s what they should do," Rivers said. "That’s what so disappointing. They’re going to get into you, they’re going to grab your hand, they’re going to foul you. To me that’s what they should do but we acted like we were surprised by it and so I was disappointed in that."
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