It wasn’t easy, and it certainly wasn’t pretty, but the Boston Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals with a 85-75 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. Like they have done all season, the Celtics walked the tight-rope between success and failure and, somehow, kept their balance long enough to survive the scare.
Kevin Garnett anchored Boston with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while once again providing stellar interior and pick-and-roll defense. Paul Pierce added 15 points and nine rebounds before fouling out with just over four minutes to go and Ray Allen broke out of his shooting slump at the perfect time, nailing two monster three-pointers in the fourth quarter.
The story, of course, was Rajon Rondo, who once again yawned his way to a triple-double (18 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists), then took over down the stretch with nine consecutive points after Pierce picked up his sixth foul. The Sixers dared Rondo to beat them in the final minutes, and beat them he did.
More details to come soon, so stay tuned. Also, follow @celticstown for news from the Celtics and Sixers’ locker rooms and press conferences.