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NBA PLAYOFFS

Celtics, 76ers take 2-1 leads in East series

Rondo's triple-double sparks Boston over Atlanta in overtime. Philadelphia rallies in fourth quarter to defeat Chicago.

May 04, 2012
  • Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo drives to the basket against Hawks guard Kirk Heinrich during Game 3 on Friday night in Boston.
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo drives to the basket against Hawks guard… (Charles Krupa / Associated…)

Rajon Rondo had a triple-double with 17 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists to lead the Celtics to a 90-84 overtime victory over the visiting Atlanta Hawks on Friday night and give Boston a 2-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Game 4 is Sunday night.

Ray Allen returned after missing almost a month and scored 13 points in 38 minutes. Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 13 rebounds and Paul Pierce scored 21 points one game after leading Boston with 36 points and 14 rebounds.

Joe Johnson scored 29 points and Jeff Teague had 23 for Atlanta. Tracy McGrady had 12 points for the Hawks — his highest total since he had 40 for Houston in 2008 — but 10 were in the first half, before he landed awkwardly on his right ankle and went to the locker room. He did not have a field goal in the second half.

Rondo scored Boston's first two baskets of the overtime — the second by posting up Teague and knocking down a baby hook over him.

Boston never trailed from there.

The Celtics went on an 11-1 run to open a double-digit lead with seven minutes to play in regulation, but Atlanta rallied and tied it 80-80 on Johnson's three-pointer with 1:23 left.

at Philadelphia 79, Chicago 74: Spencer Hawes scored 21 points, grabbed nine rebounds and made the go-ahead jumper late in the fourth quarter to help the 76ers rally to beat the Bulls and take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference series.

Hawes scored 10 clutch points in the fourth to give the eighth-seeded 76ers the surprising series lead. Game 4 is Sunday in Philadelphia.

Already playing the rest of the series without reigning MVP Derrick Rose, the Bulls got another scare in the third quarter when Joakim Noah left with a sprained left ankle. Noah, who scored 12 points, returned in the fourth quarter and mostly hobbled around the court.

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