(BOSTON) — When Boston Celtics captain Paul Pierce fouled out with 4:16 left in the game with the Celtics leading by three, things looked like they might be going the 76ers’ way. Then Rajon Rondo stepped up, scoring 11 points in the final 3:39 of the game, including going 4-for-4 from the line and hitting a huge three to help the C’s win Game 7 against Philadelphia, 85-75, sending Boston to the Eastern Conference finals.
Rondo also had 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the win, giving him his ninth career playoff triple-double, tying him with Wilt Chamberlain for the most playoff triple-doubles of all-time.
“He had no choice,” Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said of Rondo stepping up when Pierce fouled out. “That’s what makes him good. Rondo wants to run the team. He’s a great quarterback, but tonight with Paul fouling out, he had to take charge of the team.”
The Celtics will now take on the Miami Heat, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year.
This will be Boston’s third trip to the Eastern Conference finals in the last five years.
Game one is Monday night in Miami.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire
Jill Martin, CNN