We can talk until we're all blue in the face about the things that the Sixers did or didn't do that cost them Game 1, 92-91, against Boston.

The thing that stands out the most to me is that late stretch of the game when four awful possessions in a row in the final three minutes transformed what had been a one-point Sixers' lead in to a six-point Boston lead with a little less than 1 minute, 20 seconds remaining.

And then there were the no-shows by Elton Brand (four points, one rebound) and Jrue Holiday (eight points on 3-for-13 shooting and four assists). They certainly can't have repeat performances like these on Monday if the Sixers are going to have any hope of evening the series.

But taking those things into consideration, the Sixers, who appeared for the better part of four quarters to have Game 1 in the bag, could have actually won it had they shot a little better from the line.

The Sixers converted 70 percent of their free throws (14 of 20). Conversely, the Celtics made all but one of their 19 free throws (94.7 percent).

Basically, two more free throws (Brand missed both of his attempts in the game) and the Sixers survive Rajon Rondo's triple-double and Kevin Garnett's rebirth for a 1-0 lead.

Contact staff writer John N. Mitchell at jmitchell@philly.com. Follow him on Twitter @JmitchInquirer