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Celtics cave to Sixers’ rally

  • Philadelphia 76ers' Dario Saric, left, goes up for a shot against Boston Celtics' Amir Johnson during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 115-99. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) Matt Slocum

  • Philadelphia 76ers' Dario Saric celebrates after the Boston Celtics called a timeout during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) Matt Slocum

  • Philadelphia 76ers' Robert Covington reacts after being charged with a foul during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 105-99. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) Matt Slocum

  • Boston Celtics' Gerald Green, right, goes up to shoot against Philadelphia 76ers' Nik Stauskas during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) Matt Slocum

  • Philadelphia 76ers' Richaun Holmes (22) dunks the ball as Boston Celtics' Gerald Green (30) looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) Matt Slocum



Associated Press
Sunday, March 19, 2017

PHILADELPHIA — Save this performance for the highlight reel: Clutch shots. A raucous home crowd. The type of comeback that embodies a team’s toughness.

Yes, it was a victory in a festive atmosphere worthy of a playoff bound team, though it was the so-so 76ers — not first-place Boston — that made a dogged push for a go-wild win.

Robert Covington made the go-ahead 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 105-99 win over the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

Dario Saric scored key baskets to extend the lead and bolster his bid for NBA Rookie of the Year. Saric scored 23 points and helped rally the Sixers from a 13-point hole in the third.

“I think the toughness and determination that they repetitively show isn’t a fluke, it’s who they are,” coach Brett Brown said.

Covington buried a 3 with 3:37 left that put the Sixers up 94-91 and Nik Stauskas hit his own with 38 seconds left for a 103-97 lead that sent fans inside a packed Wells Fargo Center into a frenzy.

The Sixers thumped Dallas 116-74 on Friday night and improved to a respectable 17-19 at home. The Sixers won 10 games total last season.

The Celtics, still with a nice lead in the Atlantic Division, won the first three games of the season against the Sixers.

Al Horford led the Celtics with a season-high 27 points in a game Boston could not afford to waste.