3-point play: KG, Ubuntu, Magic

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The Celtics celebrate as LeBron James and the Cavaliers walk off the floor.BOSTON -- A look at ESPN.com's coverage after the Boston Celtics defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series Thursday night at the TD Garden:

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KG had reason to celebrate during Boston's Game 6 triumph over the Cavaliers.Forsberg: Ticket to Boston's postseason success

Celtics forward Kevin Garnett underwent surgery to remove posterior bone spurs from his right knee on May 26, 2009. Doctors suggested it would be a year before he was himself again.

Maybe they were off by a couple of weeks.

Garnett capped a spectacular performance in Boston's Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday by scoring a team-high 22 points on 11-of-19 shooting with 12 rebounds as Boston eliminated the Cavs with a 94-85 win in Game 6 at TD Garden.

The Celtics advance to meet the Orlando Magic in the conference finals. The teams played a thrilling seven-game series in last year's conference semis, but there was one thing missing: KG.

The Cavaliers surely wish he had been out of commission this year too.

Garnett averaged 18.8 points and eight rebounds over the six contests, marks well above his regular-season totals (14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds). MVPs are named for this round, but one could easily make the case that other than perhaps Rajon Rondo, no Celtic was more deserving of such an honor than Garnett.

"KG is a champion. He's won a championship before," said Cleveland coach Mike Brown. "He's a veteran, he's a pro, he's mentally tough and he can go get it, whether it's defensively or offensively. He hit some big shots for them. Early on, he hit their first four or five shots and his presence on both ends of the floor as a player, as a leader and as a veteran is big for those guys."

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The Celtics got contributions from all over their roster this series.May: It all came together for Celtics

Let the gnashing over LeBron James and his future whereabouts begin. New York? Chicago? Miami? Los Angeles? Maybe LBJ ought to take the midlevel exception and join an intact, proven winner next season -- like the team that sent him and his Cavaliers packing Thursday night.

Somehow, despite James' nine turnovers in the Cavs' 94-85 season-ending loss, I think Celtics president Danny Ainge might agree to accommodate him.

Yes, it is the Celtics, not the Cavs, who are advancing to the Eastern Conference finals. A postseason of improbables layered upon implausibles continues for Boston. In the space of six days, the Celtics went from the ultra-humiliating, a 124-95 loss at home, to the ultra-exhilarating, a rousing victory in Game 6 and a sweep of the last three games of this series.

The team won't -- and can't -- dwell on the significance of this achievement, not with the menacing Magic awaiting in less than 48 hours. But when it's all said and done, by eliminating the No. 1 team of the regular season, this might rank as the Celtics' greatest playoff upset since the 1969 NBA Finals. No one foresaw this; not the ESPN panel of experts, none of whom picked the Celtics. Vegas didn't like the Celtics' chances. You had to think the Cavaliers regarded the Celtics as a steppingstone.

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Lefort: C's set for visit to Magic kingdom

By any measure, the Boston Celtics played their best basketball of the season (and perhaps since 2007-08) in beating the top-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers decisively in three straight games, the capper a 94-85 victory Thursday night in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

They solved the best player on the planet in LeBron James, but a bigger test may lie ahead in the Orlando Magic, who have won their last 14 games, are 28-3 since the end of February and are coming off arguably the most dominant sweep in NBA playoff history.

After sweeping the Charlotte Bobcats in Round 1, the Magic breezed through the conference semifinals, wiping out the Atlanta Hawks (who incidentally had a 4-0 record against the Celtics this season) by an average of 25.3 points per game, the greatest PPG differential in a four-game sweep in league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

In running the table against both Charlotte and Atlanta, Orlando became the third team since the first round expanded to a best-of-seven in 2003 to sweep through the first two rounds of the playoffs (the 2005 Miami Heat and 2009 Cavaliers did it as well).

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