Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 5/10/12
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. But Horford missed the first of two foul shots with 2.3 seconds left after he was tackled by Marquis Daniels to avoid an easy dunk that would have tied the game. After he made the second, the Celtics got the ball to Pierce, he was fouled and made both free throws. The Celtics will open the second round against Philadelphia in Boston on Saturday night. The crowd burst into a cheer -- even the Celtics players were checking it out -- near the end of the third quarter when the final play of the Sixers-Bulls game was shown on the scoreboard. Instead of having to face Chicago on the road -- even without injured star Derrick Rose -- the Celtics will have home-court advantage against eighth-seeded Philadelphia. The Hawks went 5 minutes without scoring early in the fourth quarter as the Celtics turned a two-point game into a 74-65 lead. But Atlanta scored 10 of the next 12 points, with Horford scoring the last three baskets, making it a one-point game on an alley-oop pass from Smith with 3:52 left. Smith faked at the top of the key and went right down the lane for a dunk that gave Atlanta its first lead of the second half, 77-76. Horford drove to the basket to give the Hawks a three-point lead. Atlanta still led 79-78 when Garnett made a turnaround jumper in the lane over Smith to put Boston ahead by one. Smith missed a long rainbow jumper and Ray Allen got the rebound with 10 seconds left, but he made only one of two free throws. With 10 seconds left, Johnson drove to the basket but Pierce blocked his shot and Garnett tipped it out of bounds with 3.1 seconds left. The Hawks got the ball in to Horford in the lane but as he went up for the dunk or layup Daniels, who played just one minute in the game, wrapped him up and kept him from scoring. The first foul shot went off the rim, costing Atlanta a chance to tie it. NOTES: Pierce injured the knee during Sunday morning's shootaround and hurt it again when he tried to get around a screen set by Smith during Game 4 that night. ... Doc Rivers became just the third coach in Celtics' history to record 50 postseason victories, joining Red Auerbach (90) and K.C. Jones (65) . New England Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork was at the game. ... The Hawks lost to the Celtics in the first round of the 2008 playoffs, a series that went seven games. Boston went on to win its NBA-record 17th championship. ... Allen, the NBA's all-time 3-point leader, was 1 for 7 from beyond the arc. ... The Hawks are 1-11 in playoff series against Boston. They last beat the Celtics as the St. Louis Hawks to win the 1958 NBA title. ... Rondo had three assists and two baskets during a 16-0 run in the second quarter. Pierce, who came back off the bench in the middle of the run, had five points and a steal over the span of 4 minutes.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
The best pick from every NBA Draft
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LISTEN: Kevin Harlan saves MNF again by doing play-by-play of two idiots on the field

Jets security guards make best tackles of the night on fan rushing field

NFL changes stance, Titans and Browns can participate in ‘My Cause My Cleats’ campaign

Report: MLB smashed old revenue record in 2016

Percy Harvin out for season due to migraines

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ducks goalie had embarrassing reason for not playing in relief

Bruce Arians emphatically shoots down retirement rumor

Siemian out of walking boot; Broncos hoping he can play

Report: Harper seeking $400 million, likely to leave Nationals

Report: Aldon Smith setting up meeting to seek reinstatement

Rams players vent frustrations as losses pile up

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

MLB Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

James Franklin, Penn State come up roses

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

Joakim Noah’s contract is becoming worst deal in NBA

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The five 2016 Heisman finalists: How do they measure up?

The good, bad, and ugly from NFL Week 13

Championship Week as explained by Diana Ross

Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson

Winter Meetings primer: Every team's trade temperature on the hot stove

James Franklin, Penn State come up roses

Final College Football Playoff rankings: Alabama reigns

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker