In National Basketball Association playoff action Thursday, the Houston Rockets and the Boston Celtics both avoided elimination by forcing seventh and deciding games in their respective playoff series.
Boston overcame a hostile Indianapolis crowd and the ejection of star Paul Pierce to win an overtime battle against the Indiana Pacers, 92-89. Antoine Walker scored 24-points, including the game winner, to force a Game Seven.
The Celtics and Pacers will face-off Saturday in Boston to determine who advances into the next round to play the defending champion Detroit Pistons.
In Western Conference action, the Houston Rockets avoided
playoff elimination with a convincing 101-83 thrashing of the Dallas Mavericks. Tracy McGrady led the Rockets with 37 points and Jerry Stackhouse dropped in 21 for the Mavericks.
With the best-of-seven series tied at three apiece the two teams play the decisive seventh game on Saturday in Dallas with the winner earning the right to face the top-seeded Phoenix Suns in the next playoff round.
Some information for this report provided by AP.