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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- BOSTON 23 24 31 27 105 WASHINGTON 28 22 24 27 101 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: BOS - PAUL PIERCE 34, ANTOINE WALKER 31, VITALY POTAPENKO 13 WAS - JUWAN HOWARD 31, ROD STRICKLAND 24, TWO PLAYERS WITH 10

HIGH REBOUND: BOS - ANTOINE WALKER 11, VITALY POTAPENKO 8 WAS - MICHAEL SMITH 9, JAHIDI WHITE 6

HIGH ASSISTS: BOS - KENNY ANDERSON 7, ANTOINE WALKER 6 WAS - ROD STRICKLAND 6, RICHARD HAMILTON 5

ATT: 14,441


Extended Box

BOSTON (105) AT WASHINGTON (101)

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

WALKER F 44 12-29 7-8 4 7 11 6 4 0 3 31 PIERCE F 32 12-16 10-10 1 2 3 2 5 5 1 34 POTAPENKO C 30 4-8 5-6 3 5 8 2 2 0 1 13 ANDERSON G 31 2-8 1-2 0 4 4 7 4 4 1 6 MCCARTY G 36 1-5 4-4 1 3 4 4 3 2 3 7 BATTIE 14 1-3 0-0 1 1 2 0 3 0 0 2 CHEANEY 21 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 OVERTON 6 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 2 WILLIAMS 8 1-4 2-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 FORTSON 7 1-1 2-2 1 3 4 0 2 0 1 4 BARROS 11 1-3 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 2 ELLISON DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 36-80 31-34 11 26 37 24 27 12 11 105 (.450) (.912) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 12(19 PTS)

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

HOWARD F 41 12-17 7-9 1 2 3 1 4 1 7 31 SMITH F 28 1-3 0-0 3 6 9 1 5 1 1 2 J WHITE C 28 3-7 0-1 1 5 6 0 5 0 1 6 HAMILTON G 30 3-10 3-4 0 1 1 5 5 2 5 9 STRICKLAND G 37 9-16 6-7 2 2 4 6 3 1 5 24 AUSTIN 18 3-5 1-2 0 3 3 1 3 0 0 7 A WILLIAMS 12 2-5 6-6 0 2 2 2 4 0 0 10 T MURRAY 31 2-5 5-5 0 4 4 3 1 0 1 10 C WHITNEY 11 0-1 2-2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 JORDAN 4 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 KING DNP - COACH'S DECISION PROFIT DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 35-69 30-36 7 27 34 19 31 5 20 101 (.507) (.833) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 20(19 PTS)

BOSTON 23 24 31 27 - 105 WASHINGTON 28 22 24 27 - 101

BLOCKED SHOTS: BOSTON - WALKER 2, POTAPENKO, BATTIE. WASHINGTON - SMITH 2, J WHITE 2, HAMILTON, AUSTIN, T MURRAY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: BOSTON 2-7 (.286), WALKER 0-2, PIERCE 0-1, ANDERSON 1-1, MCCARTY 1-3. WASHINGTON 1-4 (.250), HAMILTON 0-2, STRICKLAND 0-1, T MURRAY 1-1. TECHNICALS: BOSTON - WALKER, ILLEGAL DEFENSE. OFFICIALS: HUGH EVANS, BLANE REICHELT, SEAN CORBIN. A - 14,441. T - 2:26.


Box Score

BOSTON (105) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Walker 44 12-29 7-8 4-11 6 4 31 Pierce 32 12-16 10-10 1-3 2 5 34 Potapenko 30 4-8 5-6 3-8 2 2 13 Anderson 31 2-8 1-2 0-4 7 4 6 Mccarty 36 1-5 4-4 1-4 4 3 7 Battie 14 1-3 0-0 1-2 0 3 2 Cheaney 21 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 Overton 6 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 2 2 Williams 8 1-4 2-2 0-0 0 0 4 Fortson 7 1-1 2-2 1-4 0 2 4 Barros 11 1-3 0-0 0-1 2 0 2 Ellison DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-80 31-34 11-37 24 27 105 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.450, FT-.912. 3-Point Goals: 2-7, .286 (Walker 0-2, Pierce 0-1, Anderson 1-1, Mccarty 1-3). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 4 (Walker 2, Potapenko, Battie). Turnovers: 12 (Mccarty 3, Walker 3, Anderson, Fortson, Pierce, Potapenko, Williams). Steals: 12 (Pierce 5, Anderson 4, Mccarty 2, Cheaney).

WASHINGTON (101) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Howard 41 12-17 7-9 1-3 1 4 31 Smith 28 1-3 0-0 3-9 1 5 2 J White 28 3-7 0-1 1-6 0 5 6 Hamilton 30 3-10 3-4 0-1 5 5 9 Strickland 37 9-16 6-7 2-4 6 3 24 Austin 18 3-5 1-2 0-3 1 3 7 A Williams 12 2-5 6-6 0-2 2 4 10 T Murray 31 2-5 5-5 0-4 3 1 10 C Whitney 11 0-1 2-2 0-1 0 0 2 Jordan 4 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 King DNP - coach's decision Profit DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-69 30-36 7-34 19 31 101 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.507, FT-.833. 3-Point Goals: 1-4, .250 (Hamilton 0-2, Strickland 0-1, T Murray 1-1). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 7 (Smith 2, J White 2, Hamilton, Austin, T Murray). Turnovers: 20 (Howard 7, Hamilton 5, Strickland 5, J White, Smith, T Murray). Steals: 5 (Hamilton 2, Howard, Smith, Strickland). ____________________________________________ Boston 23 24 31 27 - 105 Washington 28 22 24 27 - 101 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Boston 2 (Walker, 0:00 2nd; Illegal Defense, 8:04 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 14,441. T: 2:26. Officials: Hugh Evans, Blane Reichelt, Sean Corbin.


Game Story

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- In the end, Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics was just a bit better than Juwan Howard of the Washington Wizards.

Pierce scored 18 of his season-high 34 points in the final period, including a key leaner with 13.4 seconds to go as the Celtics posted their fifth straight win over the Wizards, 105-101.

"That's that up-and-under I've been working on all summer," Pierce said of the move he used to shake defensive specialist Reggie Jordan.

Pierce was unstoppable over the final period, scoring eight straight and 12 of Boston's final 14 points down the stretch. His biggest bucket was the Celtics' last, as he drove the lane and lofted a floater for a 104-101 advantage.

"I didn't realize I had 18 points in the fourth quarter, but I knew I could take my man down on the block," Pierce said. "Coach told me just to drive and not settle for the jumper because I was going to get fouled. And I was able to do that and get to the line and score some easy points for us."

Washington rookie Richard Hamilton got off a 3-pointer with five seconds to go but the ball rimmed out and Kenny Anderson sealed matters with a free throw.

Howard nearly kept pace with Pierce, scoring 14 of his 20 second-half points in the final quarter. He finished with a season-high 31 points.

The Wizards, playing without injured starting shooting guard Mitch Richmond, have dropped four straight. They have lost eight of their last nine at home.

"This was a game that really showed that we needed Mitch, especially on the defensive end," Wizards coach Gar Heard said. "They had two guys who combined for 65 points. They just took advantage of some of the matchups. We couldn't get the big stop when we needed it."

Antoine Walker posted his third straight double-double with 31 points and 11 rebounds for Boston. Coming off a season-high 39 points in Saturday's win at New Jersey, Walker made 12-of-29 shots, including more than his share of layups, and 7-of-9 free throws.

"Paul is a great player," Walker said. "He's young, but you're not going to find too many 2-guards at 6-7 as strong as he is. And he can shoot the ball with the best of them. He's a great talent.

"Tonight, we got back to doing what we do well, and that's run, get out on the break and get to the line. In the last few games we've been getting out on the break and making the game much easier for ourselves. We've been getting back to being a running team, and that's something we definitely need."

Rod Strickland had 24 points and Aaron Williams and Tracy Murray both scored 10 off the bench for the Wizards. Their last lead was 89-88 on a pair of free throws by Howard with 6:22 remaining.

Strickland pulled Washington within 102-101 on a three-point play with 36.4 seconds left. But Pierce answered with his clincher.

"I was surprised they didn't double me or Antoine more," Pierce said. "He was making nice moves in the post, but they didn't really adjust to him. And Kenny (Anderson) did a great job. Everybody just played their roles and we got this win.

"I haven't been playing the best basketball that I know I can play. I've really got to start stepping up and showing what I can do out there. In order for this ballclub to win, there are a lot of responsibilities that lie on me. That's why I've got to get the job done night in and night out. That's got to be my mentality."

Pierce's two-hand slam on the run gave the Celtics a 55-51 lead with 9:53 left in the third quarter. He sprang free along the baseline for another emphatic slam for a 57-57 tie with 8:07 to play in the period.

Anderson's strong drive for the Celtics' sixth consecutive layup, including three by Walker, capped a 10-2 run midway through the second quarter and pulled Boston to 41-37 with 4:29 left.

Walter McCarty buried a 3-pointer from the left wing, forging a 45-45 tie, but the Wizards had a 50-47 lead at intermission.

"I took my time more today," Pierce said. "I've been rushing it. There comes a time when I have to take my time and it will come, and I think I did that tonight. My teammates did a great job of getting me the ball.

This is a big win for us. Winning these last two road games has been huge. I believe we can get on a roll. These next two weeks are going to be very important or us. We're trying to get our heads above water before the All-Star Game."

Boston coach Rick Pitino said his team perfectly executed the game plan.

"We were trying to get into the bonus early because they can be a very physical basketball team," he explained. "We didn't want to be shooting jump shots against them because then you're playing into their hands.

"I probably played Antoine too many minutes (44), but I was so confident in what he was doing. In the end, I thought he would pass the ball when they double-teamed him, and he did. The good thing is that Paul's foul trouble allowed him to rest in the second half when Antoine logged all the minutes. Then Paul was fresh, which helped us tremendously. And he had a smaller guy on him in Hamilton."

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