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Rondo powers Celtics

BOSTON -- 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 Atlanta Hawks on Friday night and give Boston a 2-1 lead in the first-round playoff series.

It was the seventh career playoff triple-double for Rondo, who missed Game Two because he was suspended for bumping a referee in the closing minutes of the series opener.

Game Four is Sunday night.

Ray Allen returned for Boston after missing almost a month and scored 13 points in 38 minutes. Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Paul Pierce had 21 points one game after having 36 points and 14 rebounds to help the Celtics swipe home-court advantage with a Game Two victory in Atlanta.

Joe Johnson scored 29 points and Jeff Teague had 23 for the Hawks. Tracy McGrady had 12 points -- 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.


Sixers win again

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

Hawes scored 10 clutch points in the fourth to give the eighth-seeded Sixers the surprising series lead.

Game Four 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.

With Rose out, the Sixers believed they were in perfect position to knock off the top-seeded Bulls and build a series lead on their home court.


Today's games

The Indiana Pacers could take a big step toward advancing to the second round with another win over Orlando today (2 p.m., ESPN). They lead the series, 2-1.

The Clippers made a huge comeback against the Grizzlies in Game One, but couldn't follow up in Game Two. Now Los Angeles comes home to try to claim the lead in the series (4:30 p.m., ESPN).

The Mavericks are playing for pride tonight. The defending champions trail Oklahoma City, 3-0, and try to avoid elimination at home (7:30 p.m., TNT).

Down by 0-2 in their first-round Western Conference series, the Jazz need to turn things around in a big way against San Antonio with Game Three set for tonight in Salt Lake City (10 p.m., TNT).

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