76ers Beat Celtics to Force Seventh Game in NBA Playoff Series

May 24 (Bloomberg) -- The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Boston Celtics 82-75 to force a decisive seventh game in their National Basketball Association playoff series.

The teams will reconvene in Boston on May 26 to determine who will play the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers for a place in the NBA Finals. The Heat can wrap up that series with a Game 6 victory in Indianapolis tonight.

At Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia last night, Jrue Holiday scored 20 points and Elton Brand added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the 76ers, who trailed 36-33 at halftime.

“It was a battle,” 76ers coach Doug Collins told reporters. “ We competed every possession.”

Paul Pierce had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, and Kevin Garnett contributed 20 points and 11 rebounds.

“They had a lot of energy tonight and I just think they outplayed us,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “We had a lot of empty possessions offensively.”

The San Antonio Spurs open the Western Conference finals at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder on May 27.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net