The Celtics took a major step toward a fifth straight Atlantic Division title with a 103-79 cakewalk over the collapsing 76ers on Easter Sunday at TD Garden. Kevin Garnett led the way for the Celtics with 20 while Brandon Bass had 18 and Paul Pierce added 17. The Celtics improved to 32-24 and now have their biggest lead of the season in the division, as they lead by three games with just 10 remaining. Rajon Rondo had 15 assists while Avery Bradley chipped in with 18.
The Sixers entered the game leading the NBA by committing just 10.9 turnovers per game. The Celtics forced the Sixers into 11 in the first half alone. The Celtics were red-hot from the field, shooting 62 percent from the field and finishing up at 59 percent. They held Philadelphia to just 39 percent.
Since the Sixers beat the Celtics in Philadelphia on March 23, the two teams have headed in completely opposite directions. The Sixers have lost four straight and 6-of-8 while the Celtics have won 7-of-9 to turn a game and a half deficit in the Atlantic to a three-game lead with just 10 games left in the regular season. The Sixers (29-27), who led the Atlantic for nearly the entire first three months of the season, fell to eighth in the Eastern Conference, behind the Knicks and lead No. 9 Milwaukee by just one game.
Pierce scored 11 points in the opening quarter and took a 25-22 lead after 12 minutes. The Celtics then went on a 20-4 run to assume command of the game. The Sixers managed to cut the lead to 14 at the half, as Boston led, 50-36.
But the Celtics came out on fire in third quarter, scoring 29 points in the opening nine minutes of the period to take the heart out of the Sixers, who handed the Celtics their worst loss of the season, 103-71, on March 7 in Philadelphia. Rondo, who committed five turnovers in the first half, was a one-man wrecking crew for the Celtics in the third quarter. He had nine of his 15 assists in the period and made one of the more spectacular shots of the season, a turnaround fadeaway on the baseline as the shot clock was expiring to electrify the sellout Easter crowd.
The Sixers managed to cut the Celtics lead down to 16 twice but could get no closer than 88-72 with eight minutes left. Sasha Pavlovic hit a three with 6:50 left to expand the lead back to 19.
The Celtics headed out immediately after the game for Miami, where they play the Heat on Tuesday night. They return home to play the Hawks at TD Garden on Wednesday. For complete coverage from Paul Flannery and Mike Petraglia, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics and the Green Street blog.
OXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview the Week 16 battle between the 11-3 Patriots and 3-11 New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
We get a complete analysis of the Patriots and the NFL with Peter King of SI/MMQB.
We get a complete breakdown of the win from Bill Belichick as the Patriots secure yet another AFC East title. Bill talks about the historical significance, the key moments of the game, and even Tom Brady's nutritional regiment.
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
Kyle Draper joins Danny Picard to talk about the Celtics chances this season in the Eastern Conference, last Wednesday's home opener blowout against the Nets, and Rajon Rondo's future in Boston
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with newly signed Red Sox pitcher, Wade Miley. They talk about the story that came out about the D-Backs wanting him to switch to a gluten-free diet, and what he expects coming from the N.L. West to the A.L. East.
Manager of the Boston Red Sox, John Farrell, speaks with Craig and Larry during the "Christmas at Fenway" festivities. John spoke about the pitching rotation as it stands right now, and inability to sign John Lester. He also talked about some of the younger pitching prospects, as well as the Free Agents that have signed with the team in the last month, like Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez.
Craig and Larry press Larry Lucchino about the inability to sign Jon Lester, the projected starting rotation, and the signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez.
Pierre joins the show to talk about the Bruins-Wild game, Bruins trade rumors, and the rest of the NHL.
Jack Edwards talks with Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton and drops the bomb on us that based on how the standings look now, the Bruins could miss the playoffs this season.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins and all things NHL
ESPN's John Buccigross joined the show to discuss how to fix the Bruins.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys discussed the latest with the Sony hackers.
With multiple outlets reporting that the Celtics are in trade talks with the Dallas Mavericks to trade Rondo, the guys react to the possible deal
Dale and Michael are live on the air as the Rondo deal goes down.
Dale and Michael discuss the Bruins shoot-out loss in Nashville as a representative example of larger issues in 2014 for the Boston club.
Kay comes into the show to try out for the textress role on the program. We learn about her favorite sports and fondness for Rajon Rondo.
Mikey, Mut, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are taling Patriots-Jets and the potential end of Rex Ryan's coaching career with the team.
Tonight marks 9 straight years of the Planet Mikey Show. We play some sound from the takeover which got Planet Mikey rolling .
What should Danny Ainge do with these Celtics? Is Anthony Davis the second best player in the NBA? Are the Warriors truly contenders?
Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy joins DJ to discuss the "uncoachable(?)" Taylor Hall and revisit the Tyler Seguin trade. Ryan also shares his issues with how the Bruins are run.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk react to today's Tom Brady interview by discussing what they would tell their younger selves. They look closer at Brady's diet and fitness regime and whether they could be as disciplined as the superstar quarterback.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.More from this show
We get a complete analysis of the Patriots and the NFL with Peter King of SI/MMQB.More from this show
MIke Florio, of ProFootballTalk.com, joins the show to talk about some of the "roughing the passer" and "defenseless receiver" penalties that caused a lot of conversation in NFL circles. While many are calling for those penalties to be review able, Florio notes that the calls likely would NOT have been overturned due to the ways the rules are written.More from this show