Boston Celtics defeat Philadelphia 76ers, 96-86

They’ve been together for three years now, and the difference when all five starters are on the floor is obvious for the Celtics.

It can be seen when Rajon Rondo sets up high, knowing the defense is crowding him at halfcourt, and Kevin Garnett sets a screen to get him a free path to the basket over and over again. It wasn’t complex, it was chemistry. “Kevin set some great picks . . . I tried to take advantage of that,’’ Rondo said.

It could be seen when Kendrick Perk...

When asked two months ago about his experience playing at Boston Garden, Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis smiled as if to say, “Do you really want me to answer that question?’’

It’s been more than 20 years since the Lakers and Celtics elbowed, eye-gouged, chopped, tripped, and shoved each other in three brutal NBA Finals series, and Rambis - who was clotheslined by Kevin McHale in a memorable Finals game in 1984 - reacted as if the last bruise from those battles just heal...

If it were just a matter of collecting players with championship rings, Doc Rivers said, why stop at Michael Finley?

“If we just needed to have guys that have won titles, we can put [Bob] Cousy and Tommy [Heinsohn] on the bench and go that route,’’ Rivers said. “We need guys that can still play, obviously, and we think Finley can still play.’’

The Celtics expect their newest addition to arrive in Boston today, the day Finley turns 37. Only four active players have lo...