PHILADELPHIA Jeff Green hasn't exactly been playing his best basketball of late.
But on Wednesday night, the Boston Celtics' forward put on a show in front of 10,267 at theWells Fargo Center. Unfortunately for the Sixers, his performance led to their fourth straight setback and their 14th loss in 17 games.
This time, the final score was 114-108.
Green finished with 36 points to go with eight rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots as the Celtics (17-33) won back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 13 and 16. The Georgetown product made 5 of 7 three-pointers. Seventeen of his points came in the third quarter. He scored 13 consecutive on three three-pointers and four foul shots.
"He's really grown into a highly skilled player," Sixers coach Brett Brown said.
Green was held to eight points on 2-for-13 shooting on Sunday against the Orlando Magic. He was shooting just 28.9 percent combined in his five games before Wednesday.
The Sixers (15-35) still had an opportunity to win despite Green's effort. They pulled within four points seven times in the fourth quarter after trailing by 12 late in the third. The last time came on Hollis Thompson's three-pointer with 55.9 seconds remaining.
But on the Sixers' next possession, Michael Carter-Williams dribbled the ball off his left foot for a turnover with 25.5 seconds left. Then Green made a pair of foul shots two seconds later to make it a 114-108 game before the Sixers missed their final two shots.
"It was kind of like the story of our year," Spencer Hawes said. "We battled back, but it takes so much energy to get back in games."
Thaddeus Young led the Sixers with 20 points. Reserve point guard Tony Wroten added 18 points. His highlight was a 58-foot three-point shot at the third-quarter buzzer to pull the Sixers within 88-82. Carter-Williams finished with 11 points on 5-for-16 shooting. The point guard also had six assists and a game-high four turnovers on the night he was named Eastern Conference rookie of the month for January.
Rajon Rondo, who didn't play in last Wednesday's loss to the Sixers, also made a difference for Boston. The point guard had eight points and a game-high 11 assists.
The former all-star missed the teams' last meeting to rest his right knee. He returned weeks ago after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.
"He's their compass," Brown, a former longtime San Antonio Spurs assistant, said of Rondo. "I've only coached against him a few times all those years and saw him from a distance.
"He's like Chris Paul there's a cocky side that you love. He's in control of the game. It's his ball. And he's going to dribble at a pace that he wants to around who he wants to."
The Sixers face the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
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