The Atlantic Division’s two best lottery contenders met for the second time in a week last night, and the inconsistency was predictable.

It’s the perfect setting for two players a level above the rest like Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green, the former returning to form and the latter with one of his occasional nights of greatness, to make a difference.

And the Celtics needed every ounce from both players in their 114-108 win over Philadelphia. Green scored 30 of his 36 points over the first three quarters and Rondo just missed out on his first triple-double of the season with eight points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.

Jared Sullinger, with 19 points and 10 rebounds, had his 10th double-double since Jan. 2.

The Celtics have won two straight games for the first time since Dec. 13 and 16 against the Knicks and Timberwolves.

The Celtics couldn’t help themselves. They suffered through a drought, broke through down the stretch with a Green finger roll followed by a Sullinger dunk, and gave the points back at the other end via easy hoops from Michael Carter-Williams and Evan Turner.

Sullinger finally gave the Celtics some traction with a three-point play for a 112-105 lead with 59.4 seconds left to play.

Keeping with the theme, the Sixers’ Hollis Thompson came out of a timeout with a deep 3-pointer, cutting the Celtics edge to four points with 55 seconds left.

Jerryd Bayless lost possession to a jump ball, but Carter-Williams lost his dribble out of bounds down the other end.

Green, fouled with 23.3 seconds left, hit both free throws for a 114-108 lead and the game.

The Celtics needed every drop of Green’s 17-point third quarter, and his 30 points over the first three quarters, for that matter, for the right to carry an 88-82 lead into the fourth.

Turner and Tony Wroten combined for 17 points in the third, including a halfcourt heave at the quarter buzzer by Wroten.

And the Sixers kept attacking in the fourth, cutting the Celtics lead to 94-91 with 9:17 left in the game on two Wroten free throws.