Sixers force Game 7 against Celtics

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Boston forward Paul Pierce (right) looks to pass as Philadelphia's Elton Brand (right) and Andre Iguodala (center) defend on Wednesday night.  MATT SLOCUM/ASSOCIATED PRESS
MATT SLOCUM/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Boston forward Paul Pierce (right) looks to pass as Philadelphia's Elton Brand (right) and Andre Iguodala (center) defend on Wednesday night.

PHILADELPHIA — Jrue Holiday scored 20 points, and Elton Brand had 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the tough-and-determined Philadelphia 76ers past the Celtics, 82-75 on Wednesday night to send the Eastern Conference semifinals back to Boston for Game 7.

No team has won consecutive games in a series where neither team has played well enough to seize control.

Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo could be playing their last game together Saturday night if they can’t find a way to hang onto the ball and put away the Sixers.

Former 76ers All-Star Allen Iverson earned a roaring standing ovation when he presented the game ball. By the end, the fans were on their feet for Holiday, Brand and Andre Iguodala.

SUSPENSIONS: Udonis Haslem was suspended for Game 6 of the Miami-Indiana Eastern Conference semifinal series, a matchup where emotions boiled over in a Heat win Tuesday. The NBA also said Miami reserve center Dexter Pittman will miss three games in response to his flagrant foul against Indiana backup guard Lance Stephenson in the final seconds of Game 5.

Indiana’s Tyler Hansbrough was not suspended, although the league upgraded his foul against Miami’s Dwyane Wade to a flagrant-2 on Wednesday – which, if called that way during Game 5, would have brought an automatic ejection. Hansbrough struck Wade in the head, opening a cut over his right eye. Moments later, Haslem committed a flagrant foul against Hansbrough, clearly in response to the play against Wade.

MAGIC: ESPN reported Wednesday night that Shaquille O’Neal will meet with Orlando officials next week to discuss the team’s vacant general manager job. A Magic spokesman would not comment.


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