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Sixers' third quarter collapse in Game 5 gives Celtics 3-2 series lead


I know the Sixers are a young team, but their meltdowns are absolutely maddening.Sixers' third quarter collapse in Game 5 gives Celtics 3-2 series lead. Photo: US Presswire
You know things are going bad when this team turns the ball over. After all, the Sixers set an NBA record for fewest turnovers per game in the 2012 regular season (11.2).
So what do they do with a four-point lead in the third quarter? They unnaturally turn the ball over on five times out of six possessions and suddenly look like they’ve never seen a basketball before. Boston then goes on a 10-0 run.

Game over. The Sixers now trail three games to two as the series goes back to Philadelphia for a possible elimination game on Wednesday. If they survive Game 6, then it’s back to Boston for the deciding Game 7. No team has won consecutive games this entire series.

This Celtics team has weapons no matter where you turn. Kevin Garnett chipped in 20 points, Rajon Rondo had 13 points and 14 assists, Paul Pierce added 16 points (including a perfect 9 for 9 at the free throw line). After Game 5 however, it wasn’t any of those three people were talking about. Instead, it was Celtics forward Brandon Bass.

Brandon Bass? Really?

Bass, who had averaged just under 12 points so far in this series, exploded on the Sixers for 27 points. Furthermore, Bass hadn’t scored more than 22 points in a game yet this year.

I’m a Doug Collins guy, but were you wondering where in the world Lavoy Allen was during this game? The same Lavoy Allen who held Garnett to 43 percent shooting when he is in the game played sparingly.  Though he only played just under 19 minutes, Allen was second to Elton Brand in scoring with 12 points. Andre Iguodala scored only eight points and shot 3 of 10 from the field. He making only one of his four attempted free throws, but overall, the team made just 10 of 16 free throws. Although Brand did contribute 19 points, there is no level of consistency from the team as a whole.

It’s hard to get mad at the Sixers considering how far they have advanced this season, but it’s aggravating to watch a team who played such solid fundamental basketball the entire season totally fall apart the way they did in that third quarter. That horrid stretch of basketball exemplified by our heroes may have cost them this series.

Will the Sixers live to die another day? We’ll find out Wednesday.


Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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