for this game

Celtics overcome slow start, down Sixers

Dec 6, 2007 - 5:37 AM By Mike Luongo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Paul Pierce had 19 points and 12 assists to help the Boston Celtics overcome a sluggish start en route to a 113-103 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

Kevin Garnett scored 22 points, James Posey added 17 and Eddie House scored 15 off the bench for the Celtics, who improved to 5-0 in the Atlantic Division.

Trailing, 88-86, Boston used a 14-2 run early in the fourth quarter to take control of the game.

"We knew that we needed a run because we hadn't had one all game," Pierce said. "The defense wasn't there for us tonight, but the bench was really big for us. They hit some 3-pointers, and we fed off their energy and sealed the win."

The Celtics used a pair of 3-pointers by reserve guard House, the second of which gave Boston a 92-88 lead with 8:45 to go. Tony Allen hit a jumper to push the Celtics' lead to 94-88 and capped off the run with another basket to leave Boston with a 100-90 advantage with 5:14 remaining.

"Some nights, we might not knock those shots down," House said. "When you do get your opportunity, you got to make sure that you go as hard as you can, and tonight, we did."

"We (have) unselfish guys," Posey said. "We move the ball to the open guy. We just made plays for each other. It was just a matter of execution."

Philadelphia scored the next four points to cut its deficit to 100-94, but Posey hit the last of his four 3-pointers with 3:05 remaining to end the threat as the Sixers could get no closer than nine the rest of the way.

"(Posey) did a really good job," House said.

"That really hurt us," Sixers guard Willie Green said. "There was a span where those guys made four or five 3-pointers. We shot the ball well, but they shot it better. That was the difference."

The Sixers led by as many as 11 points at 57-46 at the 1:22 mark of the second quarter, but Pierce, Garnett and Ray Allen combined for all the points during a 13-0 run over the next 3:45 bridging the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third.

"Sometimes, we make it hard on ourselves," Garnett said. "The second half, we got more relaxed and more poised. We had to get better defensively in the second half and we felt that we did."

Andre Miller gave the Sixers a 4-0 lead early in the game and scored 13 points in the opening quarter for the Sixers, who shot 74 percent (14-of-19) from the field. He opened the second quarter with a jumper that pushed the Sixers' lead to 34-26.

Miller finished with 26 points and 12 assists for the Sixers, who fell to 0-5 in the Atlantic.

"I just (went) out there and played," Miller said. "We passed the ball and got everybody involved. It was a good game for the first 45 minutes. We defended well, but they had guys who hit big shots."

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