Nenad Krstic had an outstanding night, totaling 16 points and 15 rebounds, but Boston was defeated by division rival Philadelphia, 89-86, at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday night.
Boston (46-17) trailed 49-45 at halftime and outscored the Sixers in the second half, 41-40, but could not complete the comeback. The Celtics missed eight consecutive baskets late in the fourth quarter, which ultimately was their downfall.
Kevin Garnett had 14 points, six rebounds and five assists for Boston, which managed to shoot just 41.8% for the game. Rajon Rondo finished with 12 points and an uncharacteristically low five assists while Paul Pierce added 11 points for the Celtics. Ray Allen had an off night, scoring just five points on 2-of-11 shooting.
Jeff Green paced the Celtics’ bench, scoring 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Newcomer Carlos Arroyo had six points while Troy Murphy made his first field goal as a Celtics and finished with two points.
Boston collected 45 rebounds (8 offensive), 24 assists, five blocks, four steals and turned the ball over 11 times in the losing effort.
Elton Brand scored a team-high 14 points to pace the 76ers (34-31), who finished the game with a lower field goal percentage than Boston at 41.3%. Spencer Hawes also scored 14 points and had 10 rebounds while Andre Iguodala racked up 13 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Jodie Meeks finished with 12 points, Thaddeus Young had 11 points and Jrue Holiday added nine points and seven assists for Philadelphia.
The Sixers totaled 44 rebounds (5 offensive), 22 assists, six steals, five blocks and six turnovers in the victory.
Boston returns to the hardwood on Sunday evening at 6 p.m. EST when it hosts Milwaukee in a matinée match-up at TD Garden.