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Pierce scores 31, leads shorthanded Celtics past 76ers

Boston's Tony Allen dunks off a fast break in the first half of Tuesday's game in Philadelphia. The Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 100-98.

Boston's Tony Allen dunks off a fast break in the first half of Tuesday's game in Philadelphia. The Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 100-98.

PHILADELPHIA – The 76ers might be in big trouble in a playoff series with Boston once Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett are back.

Paul Pierce and his backup band were enough to finish off a Sixers team that still has something to play for.

Pierce hit the winning jumper, scored 31 points and hindered Philadelphia’s shot at the Eastern Conference’s sixth seed in Boston’s 100-98 win over the Sixers on Tuesday night.

“We should have won the game,” Sixers guard and ex-Arizona Wildcat Andre Iguodala said. “They used a second unit for the majority of the game.”

Tony Allen and Leon Powe were pressed into service and combined for 28 points, and the Celtics’ bench also outscored Philadelphia’s reserves. Boston’s subs were needed because Garnett missed the meaningless game for Boston to rest his strained knee and Allen served a one-game suspension.

Pierce made seven 3-pointers to overcome the absence of the two All-Stars, which had to make the Sixers wonder how they could win a first-round series against a loaded and focused Celtics team.

“We needed some scoring and I was trying to score more tonight,” Pierce said.

The Celtics already had the second seed in the East locked up and could face the Sixers in the first round of the playoffs. The Sixers, though, could move up a spot to sixth and play Orlando if they win Wednesday night in Cleveland and the Raptors beat Chicago.

The Cavaliers, however, are 39-1 at home and are attempting to match the best home record in NBA history. The Sixers are only 16-24 on the road and have lost six straight games.

Iguodala led the Sixers with 25 points and Thaddeus Young had 18.

“We’ve got to be ready to play no matter who we play in the playoffs,” Iguodala said. “If we don’t play at a high level, we’ll be going home.”

Young returned after missing seven games with an ankle injury. He showed he was back in full form when he used a spin move in the paint for a quick basket to open the game.

The rest of the Sixers still have some work to do.

Hawks 81, Heat 79: At Atlanta, Flip Murray scored 17 points to lead Hawks reserves past Heat scrubs in a playoff preview that was more like a preseason game.

With both teams locked into their postseason position – they’ll play Game 1 in Atlanta this weekend – there was little incentive for either to give significant minutes to top players.

Lakers 125, Jazz 112: At Los Angeles, Andrew Bynum scored 22 points in his best effort since returning from an injury and the Lakers won to close the regular season with their sixth consecutive home victory.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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