Turner's shot at buzzer lifts Sixers past Celtics

Posted: January 31, 2014

BOSTON - Evan Turner came through in the clutch again.

The 76ers swingman shook off Jerryd Bayless and made a seven-foot floating jump shot as time expired Wednesday night to give his team a 95-94 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.

Turner also had a buzzer-beater against the Brooklyn Nets on Dec. 20.

This time, it enabled the Sixers (15-31) to snap a three-game losing streak in what was a Boston homecoming for coach Brett Brown and rookies Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel. It also marked their third victory in nine games.

"It's huge obviously," Turner said of the confidence boost. "We pulled through and came back from giving up a lead."

One could argue that Turner won a game the Sixers might have been better off losing.

That's because a loss would have kept them ahead of the Celtics in the lottery-pick standings. At the moment, the Celtics (15-33) are in position to secure a better spot in the lottery. That's important, because both teams are content with starting their rebuilding processes by sacrificing wins this season.

The Sixers came into the contest with the league's third-worst record behind the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic. The Celtics were fourth. Now the teams have flipped positions.

But as you can imagine, lottery picks weren't on their minds. The Sixers were enjoying what turned out to be a rare victory.

This was a happy homecoming for Carter-Williams, who earlier in the day was named to the NBA Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star Game weekend.

The native of nearby Hamilton, Mass., received a loud ovation during pregame introductions. He had one cheering section that chanted "M-C-W! M-C-W!" and several people were wearing Sixers No. 1 T-shirts.

"It was great playing in front of everybody and them coming out to support me," said Carter-Williams, who finished with 10 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. "I'm thankful for it, and I'm glad we got the win for them."

The 6-foot-6 rookie said he was unsure how many family members and friends attended the game.

So was Brown, who played at Boston University and is a native of Maine. Noel, a native of Everett, Mass., said he had eight tickets for the game. The rookie center has yet to play this season while rehabbing a left knee injury.

On this night, the teammate from Chicago was the hero. Turner finished with 16 points, a game-high eight assists, and six rebounds. He also scored the Sixers' final three points.

Chris Humphries' putback gave the Celtics a 94-92 lead with 42 seconds remaining. Turner had a chance to knot the score with 34.8 seconds left.

After being fouled, he made the first free throw before missing his second. The Celtics clung to a 94-93 edge. But Turner made up for the missed free throw after Carter-Williams grabbed a defensive rebound with 10.7 seconds left.

"I went and got [the ball] from Mike," Turner said. "I saw Jerryd Bayless switch on me as opposed to Jeff Green. So I knew I had a little bit of an advantage for a shot over him. . . .

"I thought I got hit a little bit, but I just put it up, and it felt good and went in."

Intent on winning the game, Turner said he didn't wait for instructions from Brown on the sideline.

"No, I was going to get it," he said. "So I wasn't listening at all. I was just going to get it and try to get a good shot up."


kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

www.inquirer.com/deepsixer

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