Wizards and Celtics Both Clinch Series and Will Meet in the Next Round

Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 31 points, and Schroder had 26.

After losing three close games in Washington, the Hawks seemed to run out of steam in the return to Philips Arena, ending a disappointing season.

CELTICS 105, BULLS 83 Avery Bradley scored 23 points, and the hot-shooting Boston Celtics pounded host Chicago to win their first-round series, 4-2.

The top-seeded Celtics torched Chicago to finish off a tougher-than-anticipated series and advance in the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Boston regrouped after dropping the first two games at home.

Bradley finished one point shy of a playoff career high he set in Game 5. He nailed three 3-pointers and the Celtics hit 16 of 39 from long range.

Gerald Green scored 16 and Isaiah Thomas had 12 before heading home to Washington state for his sister Chyna’s funeral on Saturday. Her death in a car accident the day before the playoff opener dealt a blow to the Celtics. But Boston rallied around Thomas and regrouped when it looked like the series might slip from reach.

Jimmy Butler led Chicago with 23 points. But the Bulls never really found their rhythm over the final four games with point guard Rajon Rondo sidelined by a broken right thumb.

Dwyane Wade shot just 1 of 10 in a two-point effort that could be his final appearance for the Bulls. He has a $23.8 million option on the two-year deal he signed last summer to leave Miami and come home to Chicago.

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Larry Bird has coached the Pacers and worked for the front office. He has stepped down from a major role with the team three times.

Credit
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

BIRD QUITS THE PACERS AGAIN Larry Bird stepped down as president of basketball operations for the Indiana Pacers, another of the stunningly abrupt decisions that have become a hallmark of his post-playing career.

General Manager Kevin Pritchard will be elevated to take his place, according to multiple news reports. The move was first reported by Yahoo Sports.

Bird leaves the Pacers ahead of a pivotal summer in which the franchise will have to decide what to do with Paul George, the star forward who can become a free agent after next season. There is wide speculation that he would prefer to play for the Los Angeles Lakers.

With that potentially franchise-changing development pending, Bird is stepping down from a major role with the Pacers for a third time.

Bird coached the Pacers from 1997 to 2000, leading them to the finals in 2000 before walking away from the job, applying a long-held theory that a coach’s effectiveness is diminished after three or four years on the job.

He returned as team president in 2003, helping construct a club…

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