for this game

76ers win sloppy battle with Celtics

Mar 31, 2007 - 3:19 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- With their captain watching from the bench, the Boston Celtics missed a chance to win their third straight game.

Paul Pierce missed the game with a sore elbow as the Celtics committed 24 turnovers in an 88-82 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Pierce, who missed 24 games earlier this season with a left foot injury, has been bothered by the elbow ever since his return to the lineup February 9. The All-Star guard played 53 minutes in a double-overtime win over Orlando Wednesday.

"We're going to wait and see how he feels and go by that," Boston coach Doc Rivers said about Pierce. "The young guys is all we got. Perk (Kendrick Perkins) is the oldest guy we got by three years. They're just going to have to grow up quickly and I think that they will. They had a chance to win the game tonight and every game that they play without Paul, they will get better."

Kyle Korver led Philadelphia with 26 points, including shooting 4-of-5 from the arc. Andre Igoudala added 23 and 12 assists as the 76ers won their third game in the last four tries despite equaling Boston with a season-high 24 turnovers.

"That's what I try to do, come in and provide a little spark, run around and make things happen," Korver said. "That's what I am asked to do, and that is what I try to do."

"We were lethargic," 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "We were careless with the ball. We just weren't comfortable. We never got into a comfortable state, especially on the offensive end. Our turnovers were high and our missed foul shots were high."

Philadelphia built a 67-52 lead late in the third quarter, but the Celtics used a 16-3 run to tie the score at 70-70 with 7:18 remaining in the game. The 76ers responded with an 11-5 run to take the lead for good. Iguodala and Korver scored five points each in the final five minutes.

"We got a couple of open shots," Cheeks said about the run. "Andre Iguodala with the ball gave us some penetration to get to the rim and give Sam (Dalembert) a couple of easy shots. There was not a lot of separation. When Rodney (Carney) made the big three in the corner (to make it 73-70), we made a couple of other shots after that. But it was nip and tuck game. In the end was made some big stops and got some rebounds."

Dalembert scored 12 points and grabbed 13 boards and Carney added seven points on 3-of-5 shooting.

Al Jefferson scored 20 points and Delonte West added 16 and six assists for the Celtics, who missed an opportunity to clinch their first winning month of the 2006-07 campaign.

"We had our chances we really did," Rivers said. "We got Al (Jefferson) some great shots down the stretch that we didn't convert, but we would take the same shots. In the first half not having Paul (Pierce) everyone added up the shots that they would take instead of executing offensively. The second half I was proud of our guys. I thought that they really competed. They came back and had a chance."

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