76ers 79, Bulls 78 - Sixers win series 4-2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Andre Iguodala (ihg-woh-DAH'-lah) made the go-ahead free throws with 2.2 seconds left and the eighth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers rallied for a 79-78 victory over the top-seeded Chicago Bulls in Game 6. The Sixers advance to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time since 2003.
Omar Asik missed two free throws for the Bulls that would have sealed the win. Iguodala grabbed the second miss, sprinted the length of the court, and was fouled by Asik on the driving layup. He made both and 20,362 fans went absolutely wild.
The Sixers are the fifth No. 8 seed to win a first-round series against a No. 1 seed.
In his second season, coach Doug Collins had already led the Sixers to their first winning season in seven years.
Celtics 83, Hawks 80 - Celtics win series 4-2
BOSTON (AP) — Kevin Garnett had 28 points and 14 rebounds, hitting a jumper to give Boston the lead with 31 seconds left, and the Celtics beat the Atlanta Hawks 83-80 in Game 6 on Thursday night to win their first-round playoff series and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the fifth straight year.
The Celtics will play the Philadelphia 76ers, who eliminated East No. 1 seed Chicago in six games with a 79-78 victory earlier Thursday.
Garnett topped his regular-season high of 25 points and had five blocks and three steals for Boston, which has won at least one playoff series every year since the new Big 3 was assembled. Paul Pierce had 18 points despite playing with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, and Rajon Rondo had 14 points and eight assists.
Josh Smith had 19 points and nine rebounds for Atlanta, which failed to advance in the playoffs for the first time in four years. Joe Johnson had 17 points, Marvin Williams added 16 and eight rebounds and Al Horford had 15 points and nine rebounds.
Nuggets 113, Lakers 96 - Series tied 3-3
DENVER (AP) — Ty Lawson scored 32 points, fellow spark plug Corey Brewer added 18 and the Denver Nuggets forced a Game 7 in their first-round playoff series with a dominating 113-96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.
The free-wheeling Nuggets are one win from running the lumbering Lakers right out of the playoffs. Game 7 in the Western Conference series is Saturday night at the Staples Center.
This will be the Nuggets' first all-or-nothing playoff game since losing to Utah in Game 7 of the 1994 conference semifinals.
Kobe Bryant followed his 43-point outburst in Game 5 with 31 points in 3½ quarters despite a sour stomach that prevented him from attending the Lakers' morning shootaround and forced him to take intravenous fluids all day. He took a seat for good with Los Angeles down 101-73 with 7:52 remaining.