Final: Sixers 98, Celtics 92
Could not keep up too much running play-by-play because of print deadline (you know, for the newspaper). Cheeks had Lou Williams, Royal Ivey, Thad Young, Reggie Evans, and Marreese Speight in at the end.
Royal Ivey hit a big 3-pointer in front of the Celtics bench with 45 seconds left to make it 93-92 Sixers. Williams made five-of-six free throws to seal the game.
With about :25 seconds left in the game, and the Celtics down three and trying to tie, a fan tossed a mini basketball onto the court. The referees had to blow the play dead. The "fan" was removed from the arena to the tune of "Hit the Road Jack."
Young finished with 21 points, Williams with 27.
First Quarter (Celtics 30, Sixers 24): Sixers did not look strong off the tip. Four minutes into the game, the Celtics -- courtesy of a couple of Kevin Garnett mid-range jumpers and Ray Allen three-pointers -- led 16-4.
The Sixers looked stagnant on offense. Thaddeus Young hit a long two-pointer to open scoring, but it did not seem to come in the flow of a play. Miller had a nice drive to the rim, left-handed, for the Sixers second basket. Young made a 3-pointer (good shooting by Young a good sign). Dalembert hit a fade-away jumper from left baseline and an elbow jumper.
Brand hit his first bucket in a Sixers' uniform with 4:40 left in the quarter -- a turnaround in the lane.
Lou Williams came in and hit one 3-pointer and a long two.
Observations: Not much flow on offense and the Sixers did not run the ball much through Brand. No effective fastbreaking, although a bad pass disrupted one break with Williams and Green. Iguodala has done very little on either end of the court.
Substitutions: Green was first off bench for Thad Young at 5:23 left; Williams right after for Andre Miller; Reggie Evans comes in for Brand with 2:06 left in quarter; Young comes back in to replace Iguodala with :45 second left.
Scoring: Thad Young 5, Elton Brand 4, Sam Dalembert 4, Andre Miller 4, Andre Iguodala 2, Lou Williams 5.
Halftime (Celtics 54, Sixers 44):
Substitutions: Theo Ratliff started the second quarter for Dalembert (So lineup to start quarter is Lou, Willie, Young, Reggie, and Ratliff). Marreese Speights comes into the game for Evans with 8:00 left in the quarter. Ivey comes into game for Willie Green at 6:25 left in second. Andre Miller comes back in for Lou. Antywane Robinson checks in for Young (1:43 left in quarter).
Thad Young led a nice break along the left side, finishing for his sixth and seventh point of the night. First fastbreak of the night for Sixers.
Marreese Speights misses a turnaround jumper, Young keeps it alive on the o-boards, then Speights dunks it home. Decent first NBA bucket (albeit preseason). A minute or two later Speights tries an ill-advised cross-court pass (I think we'll call this a "rookie" moment).
Thaddeus Young hits another long-range shot.
Ivey doing a good job three-quarter court pressing. His energy on defense is higher than anyone else's. He was denying Pruitt sideline to sideline. But then he did airball to end the first half.