Kevin Garnett had 28 points and 14 rebounds, hitting a jumper to give Boston the lead with 31 seconds left in Game 6 on Thursday night, and the Celtics beat the Atlanta Hawks 83-80 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.
Paul Pierce had 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Boston despite playing with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.
Josh Smith had 19 points and nine rebounds and Al Horford had 15 points and nine rebounds for Atlanta, which failed to advance in the playoffs for the first time in four years.
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