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Garnett Leads Celtics into the Second Round, But Just Barely

Kevin Garnett scored 18 points and had 11 rebounds as Boston beat Atlanta 99-65 in the pivotal game seven of their first round playoff match up, according to the Star Tribune.

Boston, which won 66 games during the regular season to secure home court advantage throughout the playoffs, needed it right away as all four of their wins in the series came at home.

The Atlanta Hawks, a sub-.500 team in the regular season, pushed the Celtics to the brink of an early an unexpected elimination. Despite the close call, Boston remains optimistic about their playoff hopes.

"The pressure of this will probably pay off later," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. (Fox Sports)

This season was supposed to be the year that former Timberwolves legend Kevin Garnett finally got his NBA championship that he never could with Minnesota. His arrival along with shooting guard Ray Allen propelled Boston to one of the biggest turnarounds in NBA regular season history. But the playoffs, in which Garnett has only managed to get out of the first round once, is a whole other story.

"For us to be an elite team and one that makes it to the championship," Celtic star Paul Pierce said, "we can't have any nights off, we can't take plays off and we've got to be able to get it done on the road."

If Atlanta had pulled out game seven, it would have been only the second time a number eight seed had knocked off a number one seed in a seven-game series in the NBA playoffs, according to Fox Sports.