Celtics hold off Sixers

BOSTON 92, PHILADELPHIA 91

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BOSTON — Kevin Garnett scored 29 points – his most in the regular- or postseason this year – and added 11 rebounds on Saturday night to give the Boston Celtics a 92-91 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Philadelphia's Elton Brand (left) reaches for a ball controlled by Boston's Brandon Bass. Bass had 10 points in the victory.  ELISE AMENDOLA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
ELISE AMENDOLA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Philadelphia's Elton Brand (left) reaches for a ball controlled by Boston's Brandon Bass. Bass had 10 points in the victory.

Rajon Rondo had 17 assists, 13 points and 12 rebounds for his eighth career playoff triple-double. He ran the length of the court to receive the inbounds pass and dribble out the final 3.4 seconds of the game.

Game 2 is Monday night in Boston before the series shifts to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4.

Andre Iguodala scored 19 points and Evan Turner had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the 76ers, who advanced to the second round for the first time since 2003 by beating East No. 1 seed Chicago.

The Sixers led 77-67 with 11 minutes to play before Boston scored 23 of the next 30 points.

Paul Pierce, who had a sprained MCL in his left knee, scored 14 points on 3-for-11 shooting for the Celtics.

Rondo was only 6 for 15 from the floor, but he was 3 for 6 in the fourth quarter, adding five rebounds and four assists.

HAWKS CO-OWNER FINED

The NBA fined Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. $35,000 for criticizing NBA officiating and making negative comments about an opposing player.

Gearon was quoted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as calling Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett “the dirtiest guy in the league” on Wednesday. Gearon also criticized officiating in the series, won by the Celtics in six games.

The NBA said a foul against Boston with 3.1 seconds left in Game 6 should have been called sooner, which would have given the Hawks a free throw instead of just the ball out of bounds.

Boston’s Marquis Daniels held Atlanta’s Al Horford as Atlanta was inbounding the ball trailing 81-79. Referee Eric Lewis called a foul, but ruled it came after Marvin Williams had released the ball, meaning it resulted in another throw-in. Replays showed the foul occurred before the ball was passed and should have been treated as an away-from-the-play foul, in which case Atlanta would have been awarded one free throw and retained possession.

– Associated Press


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