The Boston Celtics entered their third preseason game on Friday night at the Bob Carpenter Center winless. Traveling to meet the Philadelphia 76ers in Delaware, first-year head coach Brad Stevens was still looking for that elusive first win in the NBA.
Unfortunately, tonight wasn’t the night.
The Celtics shot only 36 percent from the floor, and mounted a short comeback in the fourth quarter that again came up short as they dropped their third straight game to open up the preseason by the final score of 97-85.
Down 72-57 entering fourth quarter, Boston temporarily found its stride. Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk and Gerald Wallace led the charge that pulled the Celtics within five points with only four minutes left.
Philly built a lead in the early stages that was insurmountable, though, and held on late.
Sullinger continued his good play in the preseason and lead the Celtics offensively. He had 19 points and nine rebounds off the bench, shooting 7-for-15 from the floor. Eight of those points came during the Celtics run in the fourth quarter.
Olynyk turned in a solid performance, as well. The rookie big man chipped in 16 points on 6-of-16 shooting.
Brandon Bass led the C’s with 10 rebounds, while rookie Phil Pressey lead the team with five assists.
Philadelphia built its lead in the second quarter, one in which they outscored Boston 34-17. The 76ers also outrebounded the C’s 32-18 in the first half.
The Celtics take the court again tomorrow, Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. They will take on the New York Knicks at the Verizon Wireless Arena in New Hampshire.