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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- BOSTON 22 16 27 23 88 NEW YORK 25 21 27 22 95 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: BOS - PAUL PIERCE 18, RON MERCER 18, TONY BATTIE 14 NYK - PATRICK EWING 27, ALLAN HOUSTON 21, LATRELL SPREWELL 13

HIGH REBOUND: BOS - TONY BATTIE 10, ANTOINE WALKER 7 NYK - PATRICK EWING 19, LATRELL SPREWELL 6

HIGH ASSISTS: BOS - PAUL PIERCE 5, VITALY POTAPENKO 4 NYK - CHARLIE WARD 10, ALLAN HOUSTON 5

ATT: 19,763


Extended Box

BOSTON (88) AT NEW YORK (95)

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

PIERCE F 39 6-15 4-6 1 5 6 5 1 4 1 18 WALKER F 27 4-15 1-3 2 5 7 3 4 0 3 11 POTAPENKO C 31 5-11 3-4 1 5 6 4 5 0 1 13 BARROS G 32 3-6 1-1 0 4 4 3 2 0 2 8 MERCER G 41 7-16 4-4 0 1 1 3 2 1 2 18 BATTIE 34 6-9 2-4 2 8 10 2 4 2 0 14 GARNETT 5 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 D JONES 16 1-3 2-2 0 4 4 3 1 0 2 4 MCCARTY 13 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 RILEY 2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 MINOR DNP - HIP INJURY SCHINTZIUS DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 33-79 17-24 6 33 39 23 20 7 11 88 (.418) (.708) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 11(11 PTS)

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

JOHNSON F 35 2-6 0-0 1 3 4 1 1 1 2 5 THOMAS F 22 4-6 0-1 0 2 2 2 4 2 0 8 EWING C 38 10-21 7-11 2 17 19 3 2 0 3 27 HOUSTON G 39 8-14 5-5 1 4 5 5 2 0 3 21 WARD G 30 3-4 0-0 0 5 5 10 2 4 1 7 CAMBY 19 2-3 2-2 1 2 3 0 4 0 1 6 CHILDS 18 2-4 2-2 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 6 DUDLEY 7 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 2 SPREWELL 32 4-13 5-6 2 4 6 2 1 2 3 13 BRUNSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION WILLIAMS DNP - COACH'S DECISION WINGATE DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 36-73 21-27 7 39 46 23 19 9 13 95 (.493) (.778) TEAM REBS: 4 TOTAL TO: 14(15 PTS)

BOSTON 22 16 27 23 - 88 NEW YORK 25 21 27 22 - 95

BLOCKED SHOTS: BOSTON - BATTIE 3, PIERCE 2. NEW YORK - EWING 2, WARD, THOMAS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: BOSTON 5-15 (.333), PIERCE 2-5, WALKER 2-5, BARROS 1-2, GARNETT 0-1, D JONES 0-1, MCCARTY 0-1. NEW YORK 2-5 (.400), JOHNSON 1-2, WARD 1-2, CHILDS 0-1. TECHNICALS: NEW YORK - CHILDS. OFFICIALS: JOE CRAWFORD, JIM CAPERS, PHIL ROBINSON. A - 19,763. T - 2:14.


Box Score

BOSTON (88) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pierce 39 6-15 4-6 1-6 5 1 18 Walker 27 4-15 1-3 2-7 3 4 11 Potapenko 31 5-11 3-4 1-6 4 5 13 Barros 32 3-6 1-1 0-4 3 2 8 Mercer 41 7-16 4-4 0-1 3 2 18 Battie 34 6-9 2-4 2-10 2 4 14 Garnett 5 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 D Jones 16 1-3 2-2 0-4 3 1 4 Mccarty 13 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 Riley 2 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 Minor DNP - hip injury Schintzius DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-79 17-24 6-39 23 20 88 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.418, FT-.708. 3-Point Goals: 5-15, .333 (Pierce 2-5, Walker 2-5, Barros 1-2, Garnett 0-1, D Jones 0-1, Mccarty 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 5 (Battie 3, Pierce 2). Turnovers: 11 (Walker 3, Barros 2, D Jones 2, Mercer 2, Pierce, Potapenko). Steals: 7 (Pierce 4, Battie 2, Mercer).

NEW YORK (95) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Johnson 35 2-6 0-0 1-4 1 1 5 Thomas 22 4-6 0-1 0-2 2 4 8 Ewing 38 10-21 7-11 2-19 3 2 27 Houston 39 8-14 5-5 1-5 5 2 21 Ward 30 3-4 0-0 0-5 10 2 7 Camby 19 2-3 2-2 1-3 0 4 6 Childs 18 2-4 2-2 0-1 0 1 6 Dudley 7 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 2 2 Sprewell 32 4-13 5-6 2-6 2 1 13 Brunson DNP - coach's decision Williams DNP - coach's decision Wingate DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-73 21-27 7-46 23 19 95 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.493, FT-.778. 3-Point Goals: 2-5, .400 (Johnson 1-2, Ward 1-2, Childs 0-1). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 4 (Ewing 2, Ward, Thomas). Turnovers: 14 (Ewing 3, Houston 3, Sprewell 3, Johnson 2, Camby, Ward). Steals: 9 (Ward 4, Sprewell 2, Thomas 2, Johnson). ____________________________________________ Boston 22 16 27 23 - 88 New York 25 21 27 22 - 95 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: New York 1 (Childs, 7:05 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,763. T: 2:14. Officials: Joe Crawford, Jim Capers, Phil Robinson.


Game Story

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Like their season, the victory that put the New York Knicks in the playoffs for the 12th consecutive year did not come easily. But this was one opportunity they were not about to let get away.

After blowing a 16-point lead, the Knicks used a 9-0 run down the stretch to hold off the Boston Celtics, 95-88, and clinch the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Patrick Ewing responded with 27 points and 19 rebounds for the Knicks, who rebounded from Sunday's loss at Indiana and eliminated Charlotte from postseason contention. On Wednesday, New York closes the regular season against Miami, its possible first-round playoff opponent.

"We struggled (this season), but it feels good," Ewing said. "It doesn't make a difference who we play. We're a threat to anybody. This was a tough year. We didn't expect to be fighting to make the playoffs. We made it and now we have a clean slate and we can make some noise."

Determined not to have to wait until Wednesday to clinch their playoff spot, the Knicks hit their first six shots and raced to a 16-0 lead.

"We knew we couldn't get off to a lousy start," said New York guard Allan Houston, who added 21 points. "We talked about it last night and at the shootaround today."

But the Celtics did not go quietly, making the Knicks earn the victory in the final minutes.

"We put ourselves in a chance to win and never stopped playing from the beginning of the game," Boston coach Rick Pitino said. "The effort's been good, but we just didn't make certain plays down the stretch."

The Celtics ripped off a 10-0 run to tie the game at 81-81 and force New York to call timeout with 5:08 remaining.

Following the break, Houston hit a 3-pointer to put the Knicks ahead for good. Ewing made two baskets before Houston's jumper gave New York a 90-81 cushion with 2:33 remaining.

"We had about eight games left and we realized it was make or break," Houston said. "We had a sense of urgency and we had to get in the playoffs."

The Knicks have won five of their last seven after falling to .500 (21-21) following a loss at Philadelphia on April 19. New York posted crucial wins over Eastern Conference leader Miami and the 76ers in the last two weeks.

"It's a relief," New York swingman Latrell Sprewell added. "The season starts all over. We're going to make the most of it. I haven't played in a playoff game in a number of years. We're definitely good enough to win."

Rookie Paul Pierce and Ron Mercer each scored 18 points for the Celtics, who pulled within 25-22 at the end of the first quarter. Boston was bidding for a season-high third straight road win.

"That's a tough team," Mercer said. "Those guys never quit. Their playoffs were on the line, they kept fighting. We tried to keep fighting as well, but down the stretch they got it done."

Sprewell added 13 points for the Knicks, who shot 49 percent (36-of-73) from the field while holding Boston to 42 percent (33-of-79). New York outrebounded the Celtics, 46-39.

Antoine Walker scored 11 points in his first appearance for the Celtics after missing eight games with an ankle sprain.

"He's a little out of shape," Pitino said. "The things he should have concentrated on were his passing and moving. The shot part of it and the moves were probably not going to be there."

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