After struggling to score for the better part of seven games, the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers finally heated up late in the fourth quarter of Game 7. And one of the most improbable things possible in the series happened: Rajon Rondo came through in critical moments with his jumper, giving the Celtics an 85-75 victory and the series win.
Rondo, long lamented as a poor and reluctant shooter, hit consecutive shots from more than 23 feet out in the middle of a personal 9-2 run that followed Paul Pierce's sixth foul on a charge and extended Boston's lead from 71-68 to 80-70. Rondo had all 11 of his fourth-quarter points after Pierce's exit. Rondo's 18 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds gave him his second triple-double of the series and ninth in his postseason career, tying him with Wilt Chamberlain for fourth all-time.
Boston got double-digit scoring nights from all five of its starters, making up for a bench that put in just seven points, and Pierce (15 points, nine rebounds), Kevin Garnett (18 points, 13 rebounds), and Ray Allen (11 points, including two late threes) all contributed to giving the Big Three another trip to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they will play the Miami Heat.
Andre Iguodala gave the Sixers 18 points, and Jrue Holiday and Elton Brand each chipped in 15, but Philly shot just 35 percent as a team in the game, and had no answers for Rondo's nascent shot(s) late in the game.
For all news and information regarding the Philadelphia 76ers, please visit Liberty Ballers or head on over to SB Nation Philadelphia. For updates and perspective on the Boston Celtics, check out Celtics Blog or stop by SB Nation Boston.