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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- BOSTON 29 23 22 27 101 WASHINGTON 19 23 22 34 98 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: BOS - PAUL PIERCE 26, WALTER MCCARTY 16, VITALY POTAPENKO 15 WAS - ROD STRICKLAND 31, MITCH RICHMOND 17, CHRIS WHITNEY 11

HIGH REBOUND: BOS - WALTER MCCARTY 8, THREE PLAYERS WITH 7 WAS - BEN WALLACE 14, OTIS THORPE 8

HIGH ASSISTS: BOS - DANA BARROS 6, GREG MINOR 5 WAS - ROD STRICKLAND 12, OTIS THORPE 4

ATT: 14,964


Extended Box

BOSTON (101) AT WASHINGTON (98)

BOSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

PIERCE F 43 9-15 6-6 1 6 7 3 1 5 3 26 WALKER F 5 3-4 0-2 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 6 POTAPENKO C 23 6-14 3-4 1 6 7 2 5 1 1 15 BARROS G 35 2-6 6-6 0 3 3 6 2 2 4 11 MINOR G 41 6-10 1-2 0 7 7 5 3 0 3 13 BATTIE 21 4-6 4-5 4 2 6 1 3 1 1 12 GARNETT 13 0-1 2-4 0 3 3 2 2 1 1 2 D JONES 13 0-7 0-0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 MCCARTY 32 7-14 2-7 3 5 8 3 4 2 1 16 SCHINTZIUS 14 0-3 0-0 0 5 5 2 3 0 2 0 ANDERSON DNP - STRAINED RIGHT HAMSTRING MERCER DNP - LOWER BACK SPASMS

TOTALS 240 37-80 24-36 9 37 46 25 27 13 17 101 (.463) (.667) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 17(20 PTS)

WASHINGTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

CHEANEY F 34 2-7 2-2 1 0 1 3 4 2 2 6 THORPE F 38 5-14 0-2 2 6 8 4 5 2 6 10 WALLACE C 30 3-3 0-6 4 10 14 0 3 0 0 6 RICHMOND G 33 5-12 6-7 0 1 1 1 4 0 1 17 STRICKLAND G 41 9-15 13-15 1 5 6 12 1 3 4 31 COKER 3 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 LEGLER 14 3-6 1-2 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 7 MCINNIS 11 1-6 0-0 2 0 2 2 1 0 0 2 T MURRAY 25 2-7 4-4 1 3 4 1 4 1 2 8 C WHITNEY 11 3-6 2-2 0 1 1 0 2 1 1 11 DAVIS DNP - BRUISED RIGHT SHIN JACKSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 33-76 28-40 11 28 39 23 26 9 17 98 (.434) (.700) TEAM REBS: 14 TOTAL TO: 18(12 PTS)

BOSTON 29 23 22 27 - 101 WASHINGTON 19 23 22 34 - 98

BLOCKED SHOTS: BOSTON - MCCARTY, PIERCE, POTAPENKO, BATTIE, WALKER. WASHINGTON - WALLACE 2, RICHMOND, THORPE, LEGLER. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: BOSTON 3-9 (.333), PIERCE 2-2, BARROS 1-2, MINOR 0-1, D JONES 0-3, MCCARTY 0-1. WASHINGTON 4-7 (.571), RICHMOND 1-2, STRICKLAND 0-1, C WHITNEY 3-4. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BENNETT SALVATORE, LUIS GRILLO, MARC DAVIS. A - 14,964. T - 2:29.


Box Score

BOSTON (101) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pierce 43 9-15 6-6 1-7 3 1 26 Walker 5 3-4 0-2 0-0 1 0 6 Potapenko 23 6-14 3-4 1-7 2 5 15 Barros 35 2-6 6-6 0-3 6 2 11 Minor 41 6-10 1-2 0-7 5 3 13 Battie 21 4-6 4-5 4-6 1 3 12 Garnett 13 0-1 2-4 0-3 2 2 2 D Jones 13 0-7 0-0 0-0 0 4 0 Mccarty 32 7-14 2-7 3-8 3 4 16 Schintzius 14 0-3 0-0 0-5 2 3 0 Anderson DNP - strained right hamstring Mercer DNP - lower back spasms _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 37-80 24-36 9-46 25 27 101 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.463, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals: 3-9, .333 (Pierce 2-2, Barros 1-2, Minor 0-1, D Jones 0-3, Mccarty 0-1). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 5 (Mccarty, Pierce, Potapenko, Battie, Walker). Turnovers: 17 (Barros 4, Minor 3, Pierce 3, Schintzius 2, Battie, Garnett, Mccarty, Potapenko, Walker). Steals: 13 (Pierce 5, Barros 2, Mccarty 2, Battie, Garnett, Potapenko, Walker).

WASHINGTON (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Cheaney 34 2-7 2-2 1-1 3 4 6 Thorpe 38 5-14 0-2 2-8 4 5 10 Wallace 30 3-3 0-6 4-14 0 3 6 Richmond 33 5-12 6-7 0-1 1 4 17 Strickland 41 9-15 13-15 1-6 12 1 31 Coker 3 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 Legler 14 3-6 1-2 0-1 0 2 7 Mcinnis 11 1-6 0-0 2-2 2 1 2 T Murray 25 2-7 4-4 1-4 1 4 8 C Whitney 11 3-6 2-2 0-1 0 2 11 Davis DNP - bruised right shin Jackson DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-76 28-40 11-39 23 26 98 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.434, FT-.700. 3-Point Goals: 4-7, .571 (Richmond 1-2, Strickland 0-1, C Whitney 3-4). Team rebounds: 14. Blocked shots: 5 (Wallace 2, Richmond, Thorpe, Legler). Turnovers: 18 (Thorpe 6, Strickland 4, Cheaney 2, T Murray 2, C Whitney, Coker, Richmond). Steals: 9 (Strickland 3, Cheaney 2, Thorpe 2, C Whitney, T Murray). ____________________________________________ Boston 29 23 22 27 - 101 Washington 19 23 22 34 - 98 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 14,964. T: 2:29. Officials: Bennett Salvatore, Luis Grillo, Marc Davis.


Game Story

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Rookie Paul Pierce tied a season high with 26 points and the Boston Celtics built a 14-point lead with eight minutes left before holding on for a 101-98 victory over the Washington Wizards.

Trailing 99-98, the Wizards had a chance to take the lead, but Chris Whitney missed a 3-pointer from the left sideline with 1.9 seconds remaining. Dana Barros connected on a pair of free throws with three-tenths of a second left to seal Boston's sixth win in eight games.

"I tried to take it, but I had a big guy (Vitaly Potapenko) coming," said Wizards point guard Rod Strickland. "I had to give it to Chris. We fought hard to get back into this one. We just came up short."

Walter McCarty contributed 16 points and Potapenko 15 for the Celtics (16-24), who tied Washington for 12th place in the Eastern Conference. Both teams are five games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for the eighth and final playoff spot.

"That was the most interesting game I've coached as a Celtic," said Rick Pitino. "I was shocked that we were able to play like that (with all the injuries). We played well toward the end, they just hung tough and we were able to pull it out."

The Celtics were without guard Kenny Anderson (hamstring) and Ron Mercer (back spasms), neither of whom made the trip. In addition, forward Antonie Walker sprained his left ankle midway through the first quarter and had just six points in five minutes.

"I stepped on someone's foot after I hit the layup," Walker said. "It rolled on both sides. I can't even walk. I've never been hurt -- ever. I don't know when I'll be back."

"It's a very serious sprain," added Pitino. "I think we will be lucky if he returns."

Strickland had a season-high 31 points and 12 assists for Washington, which had a two-game winning streak snapped.

"We started off slow and had to battle the rest of the way," said Wizards interim coach Jim Brovelli. "They came out and jumped us. The guys played real well in the end. If we don't miss that shot, we win."

Walter McCarty's layup with 8:05 remaining gave the Celtics a 78-64 advantage, but the Wizards used a 10-1 run, closing to 79-74 as Tracy Murracy connected on two free throws. But Boston steadied itself and was leading 93-84 after Barros made two from the line with 1:28 left.

Strickland's three-point play quickly cut into Boston's advantage and he took a feed from Calbert Cheaney to convert a layup that made it 93-89. After McCarty hit on the second of two free throws, Mitch Richmond's driving layup for the Wizards made it a one-possession game.

Following a free throw by Boston's Greg Minor, Richmond made two from the line. Barros hit a jumper, but Whitney drained a 3-pointer from the right sideline, pulling Washington within 97-96 with 20 seconds to play.

Potapenko and Strickland traded two free throws apiece and after McCarty failed to connect on his trip to the line with 12 seconds left, the Wizards had a chance to steal the game.

"We got lax towards the end of it but our defense held tough," McCarty said. "They wouldn't stop coming."

Minor scored 13 points, Tony Battie 12 and Barros 11 to give Boston six players in double figures. McCarty grabbed eight rebounds and Pierce, Minor and Potapenko seven each for the Celtics, who held a 46-39 advantage on the boards and shot 46 percent (37-of-80) from the field.

"We executed when we needed to. We all stepped it up," said Pierce. "It wasn't just me. It was a real good team effort. We know what it's like to play with injuries all year, so if we play as a team, we will win as a team."

Ben Wallace grabbed 14 rebounds and Otis Thorpe netted 10 points for Washington, which shot 43 percent (33-of-76) and misfired on 12-of-40 free throws.

"We didn't start off strong today, they were shooting real good," said Richmond. "I don't want to make excuses, but we have to shoot a lot better than 50 percent if we're going to win."

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