Sports

Mar 24, 2010 10:32 PM

Celtics beat Nuggets 113-99 to clinch playoffs

BOSTON (AP) - Paul Pierce scored 27 points, Kevin Garnett had 20 and the Boston Celtics clinched a playoff berth with a 113-99 win over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.

The Celtics dominated inside and the Nuggets, one day after losing to the Knicks in New York, slipped a half-game behind the Dallas Mavericks and into a third-place tie with Utah in the Western Conference with their third consecutive loss.

Boston led by 21 points twice in the third quarter before Denver cut the lead to 87-80 going into the fourth. But the Celtics stayed ahead by seven to 16 the rest of the way for their fifth win in six
games. Rajon Rondo had a triple-double with 11 points, 15 assists
and 11 rebounds.

Carmelo Anthony led Denver with 32 points and J.R. Smith added 21.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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