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Boston, Houston Stay Alive in NBA Playoffs

Antoine Walker of Boston, right, shoots over Jermaine O'Neal of Indiana
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.