Sixers force Game 7
The Boston Celtics were forced into a Game 7 for the right to move on the Eastern Conference Finals as the veteran Celtics could only manage to shoot 33.38% (26-78) and an even more miserable 21.4% from the 3-point line (3-14). Still the Celtics (who only got one day of rest) were in it till the end. But Boston Head Man Doc Rivers was less then pleased with the work his team put in.
The Sixers forced the ball out of Rojon Rondo’s hands, trapping the guard and forcing him to turn the ball over or give up the dribble. Rondo only managed 4-14 shooting in 43 plus minutes of playing time.
“I thought our spacing was horrendous,” Rivers said, “so even if they didn’t trap, they didn’t have to because we were standing next to each other a lot.”
For the Sixers, game 7 was always in their minds and even former Sixers bad boy Allen Iverson showed up in red, white and blue to help support the team. Iverson led the crowd in chants and cheers and afterward dropped a line on his Twitter page.
“You can always come home again!!!,” Allen Iverson on Twitter
The Atlanta Hawks are still alive in the 2012 NBA Playoffs after a gritty 87-86 victory over the Boston Celtics after the Celtics squandered a double digit lead.
Al Horford made his return to the lineup after being absent the entire series and posted 19 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in 41 minutes of play. Boston Coach Doc Rivers noted Horford’s return.
“Al Horford was terrific tonight. Both he and Williams made a big difference.” Boston Coach Doc Rivers
So the Celtics will have to close out the series at home and Paul Pierce knows what is at stake.
“Now the Hawks got some confidence, some momentum, so we have to go home and get the job done.”
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Allen took part in the morning shootaround, and Celtics coach Doc Rivers believed he was fine. But Allen said he was already feeling pain and could tell by later in the day he wouldn’t be able to play.
The veteran shooting guard missed his fifth consecutive game. He said running straight is fine, but has trouble moving sideways because of the pain.
“Everything forward is good for me. Shooting is not bad, it’s when I start moving laterally is when I start noticing it, and then there’s like a heavy clunkiness that starts to appear in my ankle coming around screens,” he said. “That’s kind of what starts limiting me and then it stays there.”
Allen said he doesn’t believe he needs any further tests after having an MRI about two weeks ago. He and Rivers both said it was too soon to make a decision about Wednesday against Orlando.
The Celtics were also without swingman Mickael Pietrus, who returned to Boston because of pain in his knee which Rivers assumed came from playing three straight nights after a lengthy absence because of a head injury.
Stoudemire hasn’t played since March 24 because of a bulging disk in his back. He will also sit out Wednesday at New Jersey, but interim Knicks coach Mike Woodson says he could play Friday at Cleveland if he doesn’t have any setbacks after practicing Thursday.
Woodson said Stoudemire was “feeling pretty good” and said he will be in the starting lineup when he returns, rather than bringing him back gradually off the bench.