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article imageNBA: 76ers beat Celtics to force Game 7

By Layne Weiss     May 24, 2012 in Sports
Philadelphia - The Philadelphia 76ers beat the Boston Celtics 82-75 Wednesday to force a Game 7 in their NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals series, Reuters reports.
Jrue Holiday led the Sixers with 20 points while Elton Brand added 13, The AP reports.
Paul Pierce had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, and Kevin Garnett added 20 points and 11 boards, but according to Reuters, no other Celtics' player had more than nine points and they finished with just 33% shooting from the field.
The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that Rajon Rondo, who had been a huge help for the Celtics in previous games, was relatively quiet in Wednesday's game. He finished the game with only 6 assists, 9 points and 9 rebounds, and made only 4 of 14 shots form the field. Hubie Brown noted after the game that Celtics' wins really are conditioned upon Rondo having a good game.
The Sixers struggled from the free-throw line making only 17 of 28, The AP reports. They also had 12 turnovers, but they also had saving graces in Evan Turner and Elton Brand. Turner guarded Rajon Rondo.
The Sixers also struggled from the 3-point line, but Andre Iguodala finally ended their bad luck streak giving his team the 58-52 lead.
The Sixers led by 4 going into the 4th, Reuters reports, but they went on an 8-1 run to get the win, and force a Game 7.
Iguodala and Turner had 12 points while Lou Williams added 7, The AP reports. The Sixers had an easier time swapping shot makers. Turner made a basket giving Philly a 9 point lead, and then Holiday managed to jump over Kevin Garnett, who is much taller than him, for a one handed bucket and an 11-point lead.
The Celtics didn't have the same luck. They struggled to find shooters other than Garnett and Pierce.
It's possible that Saturday's Game 7, which will be played in Boston Saturday, could be the last Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo play together, The AP notes.
According to ESPN, Garnett and Ray Allen are both unrestricted FAs. They're also not getting any younger. Allen will be 37 later this summer and Garnett just turned 36.
Former Sixers player, NBA All-Star and NBA MVP Allen Iverson was at Wednesday's game to bring out the game ball. He received a huge ovation from the crowd.
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