Pierce, Bradley leads Celtics past 76ers

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PHILADELPHIA — Paul Pierce had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Avery Bradley scored 22 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 109-101 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

Kevin Garnett scored 18 points to help the Celtics continued their push up the Eastern Conference standings. The Celtics entered in seventh, but were no more than two games behind the next three teams ahead in the standings.

Jrue Holiday had 18 points and 10 assists for the Sixers, and Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 10 rebounds.

FINED: Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for striking Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers in the groin area during Sunday’s game.

The league also upgraded the flagrant foul 1 Ibaka’s was given for hitting Griffin as the two battled for position in the paint to a Flagrant Foul 2, meaning Ibaka should have been ejected from the game.

DOWNGRADED: J.J. Barea’s confrontation with Ray Allen got him ejected from Minnesota’s game against Miami on Monday night. One day later, the NBA ruled that Barea never should have been ejected.

Barea was encouraged by the correction, but it came a little too late for Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman. The NBA downgraded a Flagrant-2 foul on Barea to a Flagrant-1 foul on Tuesday, meaning Barea will not face a fine or suspension for his foul on Allen.

Barea knocked Allen to the court with a chest bump and Allen immediately took exception and confronted Barea. Officials initially ruled it a Flagrant-1, which gives the opponent two shots and the ball. Upon reviewing the play, referee Ed Malloy changed it to a Flagrant-2, which brings an automatic ejection.


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