Thursday, December 09, 2010

Sixers and Celtics renew rivalry

The Philadelphia 76ers hope to win their sixth consecutive game at Wells Fargo Center tonight when they welcome their most storied rival, the red-hot Boston Celtics, to the City of Brotherly Love.

The Sixers finally found a way to beat Cleveland at home on Tuesday when Thaddeus Young scored a season-high 26 points with 11 rebounds off the bench to lead Philadelphia to a 117-97 win that snapped an eight-game home losing streak to the Cavs dating back nearly five years.

Lou Williams added 19 points, also in a reserve role, and the Sixers won for the fourth time in five games since a 1-8 stretch. They have won five games in a row at home for the first time an eight-game run from February 5-March 7, 2008.

"The guys are coming together," said Young. "Teamwork and hard work -- we are showing it."

Jodie Meeks and Jrue Holiday both scored 16 points, Andre Iguodala had 13, Elton Brand scored 12 and Spencer Hawes chipped in with 10 and a game-high 12 rebounds.

"I think our guys are feeling good about themselves," said Collins.

The Sixers are now 2-0 on a four-game homestand that will wrap up against New Orleans on Sunday.

Boston, which will kick off a three-game road trip tonight, won its eighth consecutive game on Wednesday when Ray Allen scored 28 points to lead a well- balanced Celtics attack in a 105-89 victory over Denver.

The Nuggets clawed back from a 19-point hole in the first half despite not having Carmelo Anthony, but they failed for the second night in a row to get head coach George Karl his 1,000th win.

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett added 17 points apiece for the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics, Glen Davis scored 16 off the bench and Rajon Rondo, who returned to the lineup after missing a game with a tight hamstring, dished out 13 assists in the win.

"Boston makes you make mistakes, they make you take tough shots," said Karl. "They're one of the better defensive teams in the league and I didn't think we were very patient."

The Celtics, who are 7-3 on the road and 17-4 overall, will also face Charlotte and New York on its current trek.

Boston has won seven straight over the Sixers in Philadelphia and nine straight overall. In fact, the Celtics have never lost in Philly since Garnett and Allen joined the club before the 2007-08 season.

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