To put this in perspective Kevin Garnett had played in 110 playoff games in his career. Number 111 may have been finest. Garnett was dominant in every aspect of the game, finishing with 28 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks and 3 steals.
Garnett got his final breather with 5:45 to go in the game and the Celtics still with a multi-possession lead.
Atlanta cut that lead to just one with under four minutes to go on an alley-oop to Al Horford. That got Garnett back into the game like a lightening bolt. With all due respect for everything that happened up to that point, this was when game six began.
The Hawks took their first lead in some time with a Josh Smith dunk at the three minute mark, 77-76.
With under one minute to go the Celtics still trailed by one. KG hit the biggest shot of the game thus far, sinking a turnaround to take the one point lead.
Josh Smith then did what he does best and took a covered jumper that clanged out to Ray Allen who was promptly fouled with nine seconds remaining. Allen then did what he never does and missed one of two freebies.
That set the stage for the final play; Atlanta ball, trailing by two, 9.3 seconds to go. Joe Johnson drove by Paul Pierce, but the captain smacked the ball off the glass at the last second sending it out of bounds with 3.1 seconds to play.
Atlanta's last chance went to Horford who was fouled by Marquis Daniels while shooting. Horford bricked his first then hit his second making the score 81-80. Pierce was fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass and went to the line at the other end.
There, Atlanta faced the Truth. It came in the form of two made free-throws, icing the game and a first round exit in the playoffs for the Hawks.
Pierce finished with an 18-5-7 line and Rajon Rondo posted 14 points and eight assists. However the lone star on the evening was Garnett who just played incredibly to seal the deal for the Celtics. Michael Gearon Jr. can whine all he wants tomorrow, the "dirtiest player in the league" just sent you packing for a vacation.
Josh Smith led four Hawks in double-figures with 18 points and nine rebounds, but it was once again not enough for Atlanta.
The eighth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers defeated top-seeded Chicago in game six of their series to advance to the second round. With two seconds left Andre Iguodala hit a pair of free throws to clinch the 79-78 victory.
Boston will now receive home-court advantage in round two thanks to the 76ers upset. Keep it tuned right here to CelticsLife for all the latest and greatest analysis and highlights. Walsh 5/10/2012 10:51:00 PM Tweet Edit