There were any number of things that happened in the Celtics’ Game 3 victory over the Sixers Wednesday at Wells Fargo Center that can’t be repeated again in Friday’s Game 4 if the Sixers are going to send the series back to Boston tied up heading into Game 5.
For starters, if a team finishes with 107 points – Boston’s total in its 16-point win in Game 3 – it has to be the Sixers and not the Celtics. The Sixer didn’t allow more than 92 points in any of their previous seven games, with their opponents averaging 82.3 over that span.
How telling is this stat? The Sixers are 0-2 in the playoffs when they allow 100 points or more, and in the regular season they were just 1-11 when this happened.
The point total was unfamiliar territory for the Celtics as well, marking jus the second time in nine playoff games they’ve scored that many points.
Tonight would also be a good night for the Sixers to start getting back to the free-throw line – early and often - seeing how hard it is for them to manufacture points on most nights. While they are taking more free throws per game in the first three games of the series (20.1 per night), it wasn’t long ago that they had that stretch in Chicago that an attacking style had them attempting no less than 31 field goals in three of the first four games in that series.
While not the ultimate determinant in how a game will wind up, the Sixers, who averaged slightly more than 18 free throws per game during the regular season, averaged a little more than 25 against the Bulls.
Boston, as we saw earlier in the week, has far more offensive weapons than the Bulls. Free trips to the line can only help to bolster the Sixers' cause.