The Boston Celtics were able to turn it on when it counted and held off a 76ers' fourth-quarter comeback bid as they downed Philadelphia 84-80, extending their NBA-best winning streak to 14 games.
The Sixers had the lead with about five minutes left in the fourth when Paul Pierce hit some key shots after missing his first seven shots to help bring the Celtics back even. Thanks to free throws by Ray Allen, the Celtics were able to ice the game with a four point lead with just 5.6 seconds left.
Ray Allen had a great game, scoring 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field while grabbing four rebounds.
Paul Pierce struggled in the begining, but was able to turn it on in the fourth quarter with 11 points, including a clutch two-pointer to give the Celtics the 78-76 lead.
Shaquille O'Neal was able to turn in another solid outing as he scored 13 points and recorded nine rebounds.
The other O'Neal on the team, Jermaine, did not play Wednesday night after being given a 50-50 chance earlier in the day to play. Celtics coach Doc Rivers decided to give him a few extra days of rest but he expects O'Neal to play in Boston's Christmas Day game against the Orlando Magic.
Rajon Rondo sat out once again, as he continues to nurse an ankle injury he sustained last week against the New York Knicks.
The Celtics have not lost since Nov. 21; their 14-game win streak matches the fifth-longest in Celtics' history.
The Celtics have a tough task on Christmas Day when they battle the Orlando Magic on the road. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. EST.