Celtics top 76ers 107-91 in Game 3 for 2-1 lead
By DAN GELSTON
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Boston's Kevin Garnett scored 27 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and dominated the second quarter to set up the Celtics' 107-91 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday and establish a 2-1 lead in their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Whistled for a costly illegal pick late in a Game 2 loss, Garnett responded by crushing the Sixers early and never let them think about a fourth-quarter comeback.
Garnett scored 13 of Boston's 32 points in the second quarter as the Celtics won comfortably after two tight games to start the series.
Rajon Rondo had 23 points and 14 assists for Boston while Paul Pierce, playing with an injured knee, had 24 points and 12 rebounds.
Game 4 is Friday in Philadelphia.
Garnett yapped his way down the court after several big early buckets and clearly enjoyed taking it to the Sixers. He buried those 10 to 16 footers with ease in the second quarter to turn a seven-point deficit into a 13-point lead.
Pierce is coping with a knee ligament injury that has robbed him of his jump shot and slowed him down on both sides of the ball. He scored only 21 points combined in the first two games.
He charged the lane in the first quarter for a couple of angry-looking dunks. He even pounded the backboard for emphasis after one as if to show the Sixers he still had some lift in those legs.
Thaddeus Young scored 22 points and Jrue Holiday had 15 for the Sixers. Lou Williams and Jodie Meeks each scored 13. Starters Elton Brand, Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner combined for only 11 points.
Young scored three baskets and the rest of the Sixers had only two in the decisive second quarter.
Boston coach Doc Rivers kept Rondo, Pierce and Ray Allen in the game until the final minutes even though the game was well out of reach.
Updated May 17, 2012