A 10-point win over a lousy team isn't something to brag about but the Celtics should be credited for grinding out a win with defense and when no one besides Kevin Garnett had an eye-popping offensive night. Paul Pierce scored 7 points, as did Rasheed Wallace. The C's committed 17 turnovers and missed eight 3-pointers.
But they pounded Philadelphia on the boards (41-30), blocked seven shots and collected seven steals. The 76ers bench scored a meek 18 points and they attempted just 12 free throws. The Celtics were stellar in some phases defensively, especially in the fourth quarter.
The 76ers were 7-for-18 from the field in the final quarter and recorded no second-chance points. So Friday was a good win for the Celtics and they have to continue to beat up on the bad teams until the March 14 showdown with Cleveland. Next is Washington on Sunday at TD Garden.
Paul Pierce -- The best that can be said about Pierce's performance on Friday was that he hit five of six free throws. But he was 1-for-9 from the field and didn't seem like the same player who dropped 27 Wednesday against Charlotte.
Kevin Garnett -- A smooth night with 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting with eight rebounds and three steals. Garnett is getting healthier and it's at the right time. He also collected four assists.
Kendrick Perkins -- He was a defensive cog in the middle with four blocks and some tough rebounds. He didn't shoot much but he was a presence in the paint and kept Samuel Dalembert from being his menacing self.
Ray Allen -- It didn't seem as if he scored 16 points but he was careful with his shots and scored in opportune moments. Allen is finding his offensive groove.
Rajon Rondo -- Scored all 16 points in the second half on 6-for-8 shooting and continuously beat Lou Williams and Jrue Holiday off the dribble for easy baskets. One of those misses was a dunk. Needs to stop trying to prove he can dunk on people and just make a layup.
Rasheed Wallace -- Wallace didn't try to pump 3-pointers in front of his family and friends. He played a mature game, grabbing four rebounds with two blocks in 20 minutes.
Marquis Daniels -- Made more of a defensive impact in his 19 minutes and took just two shots. Needs to be more aggressive to score when he gets the ball in the paint.
Glen Davis -- Tallied 12 points in 16 minutes and didn't try to do too much. Added six rebounds. A real nice night off the bench.
Brian Scalabrine -- When he hits a 3-pointer, it's big news and he hit one at a clutch time.
Nate Robinson -- Wasn't really Nitro-Nate tonight, scored five points in 13 minutes but did distribute the ball and play defense.