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Pierce gets triple-double in Celts' win over Sixers

BOSTON (AP) -- Paul Pierce's seventh straight 30-point game
showed he can do more than just score.

Pierce had his first triple-double of the season with 31 points,
12 rebounds and 10 assists to lift the Celtics to a 104-101 victory
over the 76ers on Wednesday night.

"I think this is the best everybody has seen him play,"
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I'm sure he has had some runs, but
this is a sustained run."

Pierce hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer Tuesday night in
overtime at Washington for a 116-115 victory and scored eight
straight points in the final minute and a half to rally Boston past
the 76ers.

"The last time I had a run like this was probably my senior
year in high school," Pierce said. "We've lost so many close
games this year that we just needed to give ourselves a chance."

The Celtics won for only the fifth time in 33 chances this
season when trailing after three quarters.

After Allen Iverson's jumper gave Philadelphia a 99-94 lead with
1:34 remaining, Pierce's 8-0 run -- including a pair of 3-pointers --
put the Celtics up 102-99.

"Pierce thrives in those situations," 76ers coach Maurice
Cheeks said. "He looks forward to his team being down so he can
take the big shots and make the big shots."

With Philadelphia trailing by one, Iverson missed a chance to
regain the lead for the 76ers when his jump shot was blocked by
Tony Allen with 22 seconds remaining.

Pierce extended his franchise-record streak of seven 30-point games
and scored at least 30 points for the 13th time in 14 games. He has
five career triple-doubles.

Iverson scored 32 points but finished 10-for-31.

"I just didn't play well from the start," Iverson said. "I
couldn't find my rhythm and missed a lot of shots I usually make."

Boston has won eight of 12 and has a chance to win three
straight games for the first time this season at home Friday
against Milwaukee.

Ryan Gomes scored a career-high 29 points and grabbed 10
rebounds, beating his previous best of 27 scored Tuesday night
against Washington. Gomes is averaging 22 points and eight rebounds
over the last four games.

"Everybody knows the ball is going to him," Gomes said of
Pierce. "We see it in practice all the time. Even with two guys
running at him, he still finds a way to make the shot."

Chris Webber had 18 points and seven rebounds for the 76ers, who
outrebounded an opponent for the first time in 12 games -- 50-45.

Philadelphia took advantage of early Celtics foul trouble in the
fourth quarter with a 12-3 run on 13 free-throw attempts. Salmons
and Matt Barnes combined for nine of the 13.

Steven Hunter's lay-up capped off a 14-2 run over the final 3:36
of the first half to give the 76ers a 50-44 lead at the break.

Boston was 5-of-23 from the field in the second quarter after
shooting 68 percent in the first quarter.

Philadelphia has dropped five of seven on the road.

Game notes
Iverson and Pierce are the only two players in the NBA to
score at least 15 points in every game this season. ... Boston is
5-0 against its division at home. ... Kevin Ollie left the game
with a sprained ankle and did not return. ... Delonte West missed
his second straight game for Boston with a groin strain.