Here’s what we saw in Game 3:
Defense goes on vacation
The Sixers’ defense has been stifling throughout the playoffs. Not last night. Inexplicably, the Celtics got pretty much whatever shot they wanted. Worse than that, shots were wide open from all over the court. If the Sixers harbor any chance of evening the series Friday, their defense must improve. Boston shot 55 percent from the field in the first half and wound up at 52 percent.
Go to the basket
You’d never know the aging Celtics were ailing with various players nursing injuries. The Sixers settled for way too many jump shots and simply didn’t attack the rim. Paul Pierce (24 points) has a sprained MCL in his left knee, but Andre Iguodala kept firing from outside. The Sixers must establish an inside presence to have any shot. Kevin Garnett added 27 for Boston.
Young the giant
Thaddeus Young’s 22-point performance had to be a lift in an otherwise frustrating night. Young (10-of-16 shooting from the field in 26 minutes) played his best game of the series and was the most
active Sixers player on the court. Young’s teammates didn’t match that effort. Do that on Friday and maybe this series is evened once again. If not, the Sixers will head back to Boston down 3-1.