76ers oust top-seeded Bulls | NBA
Andre Iguodala hopped on the scorer's table and played to the crowd as the catchy 76ers' anthem blared in the arena. His teammates joined Iguodala...
PHILADELPHIA — Andre Iguodala hopped on the scorer's table and played to the crowd as the catchy 76ers' anthem blared in the arena.
His teammates joined Iguodala and danced along as confetti fluttered around them.
"Number one, Philadelphia. Here they come, team of the year."
Team of the first round, for sure.
Eight years of going home empty in April is over. The Sixers at last had a reason to go wild.
Iguodala made the go-ahead free throws with 2.2 seconds left and Philadelphia rallied for a 79-78 victory over the top-seeded Chicago Bulls in Game 6 on Thursday night. They advanced to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time since 2003.
The 76ers will face Boston in the conference semifinals.
"I don't know how we won this game," coach Doug Collins said.
Collins and the Sixers hardly cared the 4-2 series win comes with an asterisk.
The Bulls lost reigning MVP Derrick Rose to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee late in their Game 1 win. Center Joakim Noah missed the last three games with a sprained left ankle.
The Sixers are the fifth No. 8 seed to win a first-round series against a No. 1 seed. Memphis eliminated San Antonio last season, while Golden State (2007), New York (1999) and Denver (1994) also pulled off the rare feat.
Nuggets force Game 7
DENVER — Ty Lawson scored 32 points, fellow spark plug Corey Brewer added 18 and the Denver Nuggets forced a Game 7 in their first-round playoff series with a dominating 113-96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The free-wheeling Nuggets are one win from running the lumbering Lakers right out of the playoffs. Game 7 in the Western Conference series is Saturday night at Staples Center.
This will be the Nuggets' first all-or-nothing playoff game since losing to Utah in Game 7 of the 1994 conference semifinals.
Kobe Bryant followed his 43-point outburst in Game 5 with 31 points in 3 ½ quarters despite a sour stomach that prevented him from attending the Lakers' morning shoot-around and forced him to take intravenous fluids all day. He took a seat for good with Los Angeles down 101-73 with 7:52 remaining.
BOSTON — Kevin Garnett had 28 points and 14 rebounds, hitting a jumper to give Boston the lead with 31 seconds left in Game 6, and the Celtics beat the Atlanta Hawks 83-80 to win their first-round playoff series and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the fifth straight year.
Paul Pierce had 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Boston despite playing with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.
DENVER — Denver Nuggets reserve center Chris "Birdman" Andersen was excused indefinitely from all team-related activities after sheriff's deputies searched his home as part of an investigation by the department's Internet Crimes Against Children unit.
Douglas County Sheriff's spokesman Ron Hanavan confirmed that the search took place. Andersen has not been arrested and Hanavan said no arrest warrant has been issued.
The department began investigating Andersen in February after receiving information from a law-enforcement agency in California.
• Oklahoma City guard James Harden won the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award after leading all bench players in scoring. Harden averaged 16.8 points on career-best 49 percent shooting this season.
• Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing is one of several candidates the Charlotte Bobcats will interview for their coaching vacancy.
• The Trail Blazers said forward LaMarcus Aldridge had arthroscopic surgery on his right hip to repair a slight labral tear.