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76ers edge the Celtics on Turner's buzzer-beater

BOSTON -- Evan Turner came through in the clutch.

The swingman drove the lane and made a seven-foot jump shot as time expired to give the 76ers a 95-94 victory over the Boston Celtics Wednesday night at TD Garden.

With the win, the Sixers (15-31) snapped a three-game losing streak in what was a homecoming for coach Brett Brown and rookies Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel. It also marked their third victory in 11 games.

But 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 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 rare victory.

This was 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 there were several people wearing Sixers No. 1 T-shirts.

Carter-Williams finished with 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds.

The 6-foot-6, 185-pounder said he was unsure how many family members and friends attended the game.

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

Turner was the hero of this game.

He finished with 16 points, a game-high eight assists and six rebounds. Turner 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 foul shot before missing his second. As a result, the Celtics clung to a 94-93 edge. But he made up for that by winning the game at the buzzer.

The Celtics have lost fourth straight and 19 of 22.

Boston center Jared Sullinger finished with game-high of 24 points and 17 rebounds.

(c)2014 The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Distributed by MCT Information Services


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