Playoff roundup: Celtics overcome Bulls in another OT thriller

Celtics overcome Bulls in another OT thriller
Bulls 104 at Celtics 106

Kevin Garnett was in street clothes. Ray Allen fouled out. The Boston Celtics’ Big Three was down to one, and Paul Pierce was ready. The MVP of last year’s NBA finals scored 26 points, hitting one jumper to tie the game at the end of regulation and three more in the final 77 seconds of overtime on Tuesday night to help the Celtics beat the Chicago Bulls 106-104 and take a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven playoff series. “I just thought when Ray fouled out it was time for me to really step up,” said Pierce, who scored 12 points in the 10 minutes after Allen left the game.

Howard, Magic outmuscle Sixers in Game 5
76ers 78 at Magic 91
Dwight Howard did so much damage to the Philadelphia 76ers he set off a coaching feud. Howard had 24 points and a career playoff-high 24 rebounds, a dominating performance that powered the Magic to a 91-78 victory over the Sixers on Tuesday night and gave Orlando a 3-2 series lead. Afterward, Philadelphia coach Tony DiLeo said Howard should have been called for 3 seconds in the lane several times and asked the league to look into an elbow from Howard on Samuel Dalembert.

Mavericks finish off Spurs in Game 5
Mavericks 106 at Spurs 93

Jason Terry galloped down court after one big shot and Josh Howard skipped along the sideline after another. For what the Dallas Mavericks were about to pull off, they might as well have danced. For the first time since 2006, the Mavericks are moving past the first round. And for the first time since 2000, the San Antonio Spurs are not. Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points in his first breakout game of a lopsided series, and the Mavericks won a playoff series for the first time in three years by eliminating the Spurs in five games with a 106-93 victory on Tuesday night.