Bass, Celtics rally for 3-2 lead over 76ersMay 22, 2012 - 2:06 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - With about two minutes left, and his team safely in line for the win, Brandon Bass walked off the parquet floor at TD Garden to a standing ovation.
Needing a big performance to wash away the taste of a bad loss, the Celtics got one from an unlikely source.
Bass scored 18 of his 27 points in the third quarter and the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers, 101-85, Monday night to take a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
"It went downhill quickly," said Sixers coach Doug Collins.
That's for sure.
The Celtics, behind a 14-2 run led by Bass, turned a six-point deficit into a six-point lead in about five minutes in the third quarter and rolled the rest of the way to earn some revenge for Philly's comeback in Game 4 last Friday.
Kevin Garnett added 20 points, Paul Pierce had 16 and Rajon Rondo scored 13 with 14 assists for the Celtics, who held a double-digit lead for the last 11 minutes and went up by as many as 20 down the stretch.
Game 6 is Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
Elton Brand led the Sixers with 19 points -- just seven in the second half -- Lavoy Allen scored 12 off the bench and Evan Turner had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Celtics were missing guard Avery Bradley, who had started the first 10 playoff games, because of shoulder injuries. Ray Allen scored five points in his place.
But on a team with four big names in the starting lineup, Bass emerged as the star, getting 22 of his points after halftime.
"I just thought he kept the game simple in the second half. He didn't try to do too much," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "He let the game come to him and trusted his teammates. He made shots, and that was great, but I thought he played with the right spirit."
After averaging 10.1 points in the first 10 playoff games, Bass was 6-for-7 in the third quarter and 9-of-13 from the floor in the game.
He scored eight points during the 14-2 run in the third, including a dunk that gave the fourth-seeded Celtics their first lead since 15-14.
It was part of an overall run of 45-19 from early in the third quarter to late in the fourth, which gave the Celtics a 20-point lead.
"We did not meet the tenacity they played with from the middle of the third quarter on," said Collins.
Boston carried a 75-66 lead into the fourth after Pierce's pullup jumper in the final seconds and kept its full on the pedal. Garnett's bucket pushed the lead to 11 and it was never closer.
The Sixers didn't score their first points of the fourth until Allen's layup 3:46 in and they had just 35 points in the second half, which played out like a bizzaro companion to Game 4, when they out-scored the Celtics 61-37 in the last two quarters.
"We were actually shooting the ball well," said Collins, "but we didn't get good shots at the basket."
The eighth-seeded Sixers, behind seven points from Jrue Holiday and six apiece from Brand and Allen, had a 27-23 lead after the first quarter.
Garnett scored 10 in the second quarter but the Celtics never led. The Sixers went up by as many as six and carried a 50-47 advantage into halftime after shooting nearly 55 percent.
"We weren't right in the first half. You could just feel it," said Rivers. "I don't want to get corny, but the Celtic spirit just wasn't there. ... I told our coaches we just have to get them back, get them ready."
"Then we got to playing," he said.
Neither team has won two in a row in the series...Game 7 will be Saturday back in Boston, if necessary...The Celtics out-shot the Sixers 52.2 percent to 46.8 but were out-rebounded 37-31.
- PHILADELPHIA: 85
May 21 9:24 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 66
End of 3rd
May 21 8:47 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 50
May 21 7:59 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 27
End of 1st
May 21 7:25 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
May 21 7:03 PM
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