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With Iverson Watching, 76ers Take Celtics To Game 7

Allen Iverson got love from Philly crowd.

Six games were not enough to determine if the Boston Celtics were too old or if the Philadelphia 76ers are too young to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals. So, they will lineup Saturday in Boston for the most dramatic of postseason encounters — Game 7 — to solve the riddle.

So far, it is the Sixers who have been the surprise, a youthful bunch under Doug Collins that took Wednesday night’s Game 6 82-75 to for the decisive meeting in Boston.

‘Game 7,” coach Doug Collins said. ”That’s all we wanted was . . . give ourselves a chance to go into Boston and see what happens on Saturday.”

Mission accomplished. Former all-star guard for Philly, Allen Iverson, presented the game ball before tipoff and the eighth-seeded 76ers performed much like Iverson did all his stellar career as a Sixer: with grit and determination. The sellout crowd was delighted by the play of guard Jrue Holiday and forwards Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand.

Holiday scored 20 points and Brand had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Iguodala some powerful dunks as the 76ers improved to 5-0 following a loss in the playoffs.

No team has won consecutive games in a series where neither team has played well enough to seize control. But the Sixers were good enough to win Game 6, improving to 5-0 this postseason in games following a loss.

This was not an artistic achievement. Boston shot 33 percent shooting, had 17 turnovers and made just 3 of 14 from three-point range. Paul Pierce had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 11 boards.

”We found a way to stay in the game, for the most part,” Pierce said.

They did because the Sixers missed 8 of 9 3-pointers, shot just 17 of 28 from the free throw line and had 12 turnovers.

But they won nonetheless, making Saturday must-see TV.

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