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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The most random 14-game win streak you'll ever see

There's no other way to explain the Boston Celtics' latest win streak (their fifth longest in the franchise's glorious history) besides the health and remarkable play by the Big Three: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

Boston (23-4) didn't even play well last night other than a key stretch in the fourth quarter and that was enough to get by the Philadelphia 76ers, 84-80 at TD Garden. The Celtics won their 14th straight game, the longest streak in the NBA so far this season.

Ray Allen led the Cs with a game-high 22 points and six assists. Shaquille O'Neal added 13 points and nine rebounds, Kevin Garnett had 12 points and seven rebounds while Paul Pierce notched 11 points and Nate Robinson (still subbing for Rajon Rondo) had nine points.

Based mostly on their young talent and athleticism, the 76ers (11-18) are a tough matchup for the Celtics these days. Forget their record, they've played them as close as you can in the first two meetings this season.

Elton Brand led Philadelphia with 16 points and 12 rebounds, Jrue Holiday added 15 points, Louis Williams notched 12 points and ex-Celtic Tony Battie (yes, he still plays in the NBA) had 10 points, six rebounds and four blocks.

Philly shot 43.1% to Boston's 38.8%. 3-pointers were rare (6-2 for Celtics) and the Sixers made six more free throws (22-16). Boston had five more assists (19-14), four more steals (0-4) and three more rebounds (43-30). The Cs doubled up the Sixers on fastbreak points (14-7) and almost twice the amount of points in the paint (34-18).

The Celts get a couple days off before their Christmas meeting with the Magic in Orlando. It'll be a totally different look team since the Magic traded for Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Gilbert Arenas last week in two massive deals. They needed to shake something up since they're really starting to lag in the Eastern Conference behind the Celtics and (gulp) Miami Heat.

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