The rookie point guard had 21 points, a career-high 14 rebounds
and six assists as the Sixers held off the Boston Celtics 113-108.
"I think he's been great," 76ers coach Brett Brown said. "I think he
feels and looks like he's the Rookie of the Year, and he's improved
to that stage where I think it's well-deserved."
It was the 16th double-double of the season for Carter-Williams, and
the 12th time he has had at least 20 points, five rebounds and five
assists in one game. All other rookies combined had eight such games
entering Monday's action.
He said that while he would welcome the Rookie of the Year, others
in his class — like Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo, Utah Jazz
guard Trey Burke and Brooklyn Nets forward Mason Plumlee — also
have played well.
Carter-Williams also said his focus is more on the here and now.
"I just want to end strong, end on a positive note — especially
here at home," he said. "Coach always tells us to keep playing.
We're not really playing for that much. We're just playing for each
other, really. That actually is playing for something."
Backup guard Tony Wroten added 20 points for the Sixers (18-63), who
snapped a four-game losing streak in their final home game of the
season. Forward Thaddeus Young had 15 points, seven rebounds and
Rookie center-forward Kelly Olynyk had a career-high 28 points to
lead Boston (25-56), which saw reserve guard Chris Johnson knock
down an apparent game-tying 3-pointer with 0.9 of a second left. It
was ruled, however, that Johnson stepped on the right sideline
before he released the ball, negating the shot.
Forward Jeff Green added 27 points and guard Avery Bradley
contributed 23 for the Celtics, who saw a two-game winning streak
end. Guard Rajon Rondo finished with eight points, 14 assists and 11
The Sixers led by 19 points in the third quarter, but Boston cut the
gap to two by the end of the period.
"We could've laid down when we were down 17 after two quarters,"
Celtics forward Brandon Bass said. "We're not going to make the
playoffs, but we kept fighting and it made it a game."
Philadelphia assembled a 9-2 run early in the final period to
increase its lead to 97-88 with 8:02 left, as Wroten and backup
forward Brandon Davies scored four points each.
Boston rallied behind Green, who crammed eight points into a 1:36
span, and Olynyk. The rookie's two free throws with 1:59 to play cut
the gap to 105-103.
Carter-Williams made a free throw with 1:42 left, then stole
Olynyk's pass. That led to two free throws by Wroten with 1:24 to
play, giving Philadelphia a 108-103 lead.
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Center Henry Sims then answered a jumper by Olynyk with one of his
own with 25.1 seconds left, giving the Sixers a 110-105 lead.
Still, Boston wasn't done. Green's three free throws with 15.3
seconds left cut the gap to 111-108, and the Sixers subsequently
turned the ball over. Johnson then stepped out of bounds before his
potential tying shot.
Boston burst out to a 21-11 lead early in the game, as Green scored
eight points and Bradley seven. By the end of the quarter, the
Sixers drew even at 33-all, and early in the second period
Philadelphia ripped off 12 straight points, four of those by Davies,
to go up 49-38.
In all, the Sixers outscored Boston 34-17 in the second quarter to
claim a 67-50 halftime lead. Carter-Williams collected 12 points and
eight rebounds in the half, and the Sixers shot a robust 59.6
percent. Wroten added 11 points and Young and reserve guard Elliot
Williams contributed 10 each in the first half.
Green led Boston with 14 in the half.
The Sixers were still leading 82-65 with 5:04 left in the third
quarter. Boston finished the quarter on a 19-4 spree to close the
gap to 86-84. Bradley had 11 of those points, and Johnson buried two
NOTES: Philadelphia G Michael Carter-Williams is averaging 18.4
points on 53 percent shooting over the past nine games. ... Sixers F
Brandon Davies equaled a career high with 11 points. ... Sixers
first-year coach Brett Brown said before the game he "really loved
this year, in a very strange way." At the same time, he added, "This
hall pass, to a point, is getting a little bit over. We need to make
progress in a different way next year, with our own." ... Boston
coach Brad Stevens is also nearing the end of his first season. "It
wasn't tougher than I bargained for necessarily, but it's been
tough. It just never stops. ... I think that you always have to be
in the moment."... C/F Jared Sullinger (ankle), G Jerryd Bayless
(knee) and C/F Kris Humphries (knee) did not play for Boston. ...
Second-year F Arnett Moultrie returned to the Sixers on Monday after
serving a five-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug
policy. He did not play against the Celtics, though.
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