After the devastating loss Wednesday night, Kevin Garnett said, "I have always said that the toughest games are the first one and the closeout". After two straight failed opportunities to close out the series, the Celtics prevailed on the third try. Finally, they will advance to the NBA Finals. The Bruins comparisons can be put to rest.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with a double-double, registering 31 points and 13 rebounds, as Boston took Game 6: 96-84.

The Magic, who shot 52% from beyond the arc in Game 5, were held in check by Boston - shooting just 24% on 6/22 3-point shooting in tonight's contest. Orlando also fell into foul trouble with their key guys. Howard ended the game with 4, Nelson 5 and Redick 3.

Perkins was able to avoid picking up a technical, saying next to nothing to the refs. He will not be suspended for Game 1 of the Finals. Ray Allen finished with 20 points, Rondo with 14 points and 6 assists. Yet, Nate Robinson was the story of the game, surprisingly erupting with 13.

In the first quarter, the Celtics jumped out to a 11 point lead behind an impressive effort by Rajon Rondo - who looked like he was well on his way to another double double. Yet, before the quarter could come to a close, Rondo took a scary fall driving to the basket and was very slow to get up. He spent the majority of the second quarter, and some of the fourth, laying on the floor with ice packs around his hips.

No Rondo? No Problem. Luckily and surprisingly for the Celtics, Nate Robinson filled in quite nicely with Rondo watching from the floor. The game Doc promised he would have - he did. Robinson scored 13 points in the second quarter - helping the Celtics climb to a first half lead that stood as much as 21.

After dominating the first half, Boston entered the third quarter with the same fire and tenacity with which they started the game. To begin the 3rd, Ray Allen knocked down two back to back threes as the Celtics extended their lead to a game high, 24. In the fourth, Despite going through a scoreless stretch of 4 minutes, Boston held onto a lead that dipped as low as 14 and peaked as much as 24 - defeating Orlando 96-84.

In a losing effort, the Magic were led by Howard's 28 points, 12 rebounds and Vince Carter's 17. Trailing by 18 in the third, Dwight Howard arrogantly mocked the crowd after a "Howard Sucks" chant broke out following his hard foul on Pierce - which knocked off The Truth's headband.

The Celtics await the victor of the Suns-Lakers series, which L.A. leads 3-2. The Boston fans obviously are rooting for the Lakers as a "Beat L.A." chant broke out as the Celtics hovered around a 20 point lead in the fourth quarter.

 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Michael Saver 5/28/2010 11:22:00 PM Edit
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9 Responses so far.

  1. Sebastian S. says:

    INCREDIBLE GAME, FOCUS AND ENERGY. I have no words. Just proud.

    They silenced all their detractors and disbelievers like me (after game 5).

    Great team effort. Celtics for ever.

  2. good thoughts. I thought of all the games to make a statement, this was the one!


  3. black lava says:

    great stuff. think nate can do that maybe a few more times in the finals?

  4. celtics says:

    good luck celtics
    for the final I would like once more determination concetration force.ne not waste your bullets keeps, shoot with confidence and determination you can champion for the 18th fois.PIERRE DAVE celtics fan

  5. Bohemian says:

    Big time win, we are in the Finals!!! I predicted 4-2 for the Celtics hehe ;)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank u Jesus

  7. Karl says:

    The garden was electric last night. Being there was an experience I'll never forget. One more series!

  8. Just gotta say What ID ID and Sorry Dwight.

  9. tb727 says:

    Anyone else notice how 2 seasons ago when the C's won the East John Havlicek was there to present the trophy as the C's went for #17 and this year it was Dave Cowens? Nice touch since Hondo wore #17 and Cowens wore #18. That means that Don Nelson would be the next one to do the presentation. And then maybe Ray Allen for #20.

    At this rate, it's not looking good that Jim "Loscy" Loscutoff will be presenting one...

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