Published May 16, 2012
| Sports Network
Philadelphia, PA – Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce all recorded double-doubles by the time the fourth quarter began, as the Boston Celtics rolled over the Philadelphia 76ers, 107-91, in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
The upstart Sixers, after earning a split in Boston, came out Wednesday poised to take a series lead, but the Celtics outscored the defensive-minded club by a 61-33 count in the second and third quarters to win going away.
"I think our team responded well tonight. We were pretty focused," Rondo said. "We wanted to...send a message tonight and I think we did a pretty good job of that."
Garnett finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds, Rondo added 23 points and 14 assists and Pierce put up 24 points and 12 boards despite dealing with an ailing left knee.
Boston committed just seven turnovers and shot 52 percent from the floor against a Sixers club that allowed the third fewest points (89.4 ppg) during the regular season.
"We never got in a defensive mindset the entire night," Sixers head coach Doug Collins said. "They just sliced and diced and got the shots they wanted to get."
Thaddeus Young had a team-high 22 points off the bench for Sixers, whose starters combined for 36 points on 30-percent (12-of-40) shooting.
Wells Fargo Center will again be the setting for Game 4 on Friday.
The Sixers came out and shot a scintillating 62 percent from the floor in the opening quarter, with Lou Williams' buzzer-beating three-pointer giving the hosts a 33-28 advantage.
Garnett, looking to atone for his critical offensive foul late in Boston's Game 2 loss, picked up two quick fouls Wednesday, but came out in the second and erupted for 13 points and seven rebounds to spark the turnaround. A Ray Allen layup -- his only basket -- off a Garnett steal resulted in a 39-37 lead four minutes in, and Boston never trailed again.
After missing their first seven attempts in the game, the Celtics connected on 65 percent of their shots in the second, which ended with Rondo putting in a reverse layup for a 60-49 cushion.
Philadelphia couldn't recover in the third, missing seven of its first eight shots as Boston opened up a 20-point lead behind a 11-2 quarter-opening run.
The closest the Sixers got in the final 20 minutes was the final score.
The Sixers won all three home games in their opening-round win over the Bulls...Evan Turner, who scored in double figures in the first two games this series, shot 1-of-10 from the field and finished with four points for the Sixers, who shot 33 percent (20-of-60) from the field after the first quarter...Williams and Jodie Meeks each scored 13 points for Philly...Allen, playing with bone spurs in his right ankle, logged 25 1 /2 minutes.