Deron Williams scored 13 of his 25 points in the decisive third quarter, and the Utah Jazz beat Houston, 113-91, on Friday night at Salt Lake City to win the Western Conference series, 4-2, and eliminate the Rockets from the playoffs in the opening round for the second year in a row.
The Jazz was determined to avoid a Game 7 in Houston, site of its embarrassing 95-69 loss in Game 5 on Tuesday. Instead, the Jazz is headed to Los Angeles and opens the second round against the Lakers on Sunday.
Tracy McGrady scored 40 points for the Rockets, but could not beat the Jazz by himself and fell to 0-7 in playoff series.
Luis Scola was the only other Rockets player in double figures with 15 points. The Rockets lost point guard Rafer Alston because of a sprained ankle late in the second quarter and the offense never recovered.
The 69 points Utah scored Tuesday was the lowest total this season. The Jazz passed that dubious mark early in the third quarter and kept going, playing with a bit of a nasty streak and intensity it didn't have the first time it tried to clinch the series.
Mehmet Okur had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Carlos Boozer added 15 points and 10 boards. Andrei Kirilenko scored 11.
The Jazz found its long-range shooting and made 10 of 22 three-point shots. Utah was two for 23 from three-point range in the previous two games.
Atlanta 103, Boston 100 -- The playoff team with the worst record did it again to the team with the best mark, forcing an improbable Game 7 as Joe Johnson made a three-point basket with 1:07 remaining and the Hawks held on at Atlanta.
The Hawks, just 37-45 during the regular season, have now beaten the Celtics three times in a week to set up a deciding game in a series that was supposed to be a sweep. After all, Boston went an NBA-leading 66-16 and defeated Atlanta in all three meetings before the playoffs.
But, against all odds, the Hawks are heading to Boston for Game 7 on Sunday.
"Seven! Seven! Seven!" chanted the record crowd of 20,425 at Philips Arena.
The Celtics are still the favorite, having won all three games on their home court in the series by an average of 22 points.
Cleveland 105, Washington 88 -- LeBron James had 27 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists for his third career playoff triple-double to help the Cavaliers win the Eastern Conference first-round series in six games.
It was the third consecutive season that the Cavaliers eliminated the Wizards -- ending each of those series on Washington's home floor.
James didn't do it alone, of course.
He was passive early, with twice as many assists (four) as shot attempts (two) in the first quarter.
That allowed his teammates to get in a rhythm, and two contributed more than 20 points: Wally Szczerbiak with a career playoff-best 26 and reserve Daniel Gibson with 22, combining for 10 of Cleveland's 11 three-pointers.