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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- INDIANA 18 27 25 22 92 BOSTON 30 20 20 17 87 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: IND - AUSTIN CROSHERE 32, JALEN ROSE 25, JERMAINE ONEAL 15 BOS - PAUL PIERCE 23, ANTOINE WALKER 20, BRYANT STITH 13

HIGH REBOUND: IND - JERMAINE ONEAL 12, AUSTIN CROSHERE 10 BOS - PAUL PIERCE 9, ANTOINE WALKER 8

HIGH ASSISTS: IND - TRAVIS BEST 9, JALEN ROSE 5 BOS - ANTOINE WALKER 7, RANDY BROWN 4

ATT: 18,624


Extended Box

INDIANA (92) AT BOSTON (87)

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

HARRINGTON F 38 5-10 2-2 2 4 6 0 3 0 2 12 ONEAL F 43 6-8 3-7 2 10 12 0 5 3 1 15 MCKEY C 14 1-3 0-0 0 3 3 0 4 1 0 2 R MILLER G 39 2-18 0-0 0 7 7 1 2 2 1 4 ROSE G 37 10-14 3-4 0 3 3 5 3 0 3 25 CROSHERE 35 11-19 8-9 4 6 10 1 2 1 2 32 BEST 27 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 9 4 1 2 2 PERKINS 4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 EDNEY 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 FOSTER 2 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 J BENDER DNP - COACH'S DECISION TABAK DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 36-75 16-22 8 37 45 16 23 8 11 92 (.480) (.727) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 12(14 PTS)

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

PIERCE F 43 8-23 6-9 1 8 9 2 2 0 3 23 WALKER F 45 7-18 4-4 4 4 8 7 6 2 4 20 BLOUNT C 21 5-7 1-1 2 3 5 0 2 2 3 11 BROWN G 16 1-6 0-0 1 1 2 4 5 0 0 2 STITH G 35 4-8 3-5 1 3 4 2 2 0 0 13 PALACIO 32 3-9 2-4 3 4 7 3 2 2 1 8 POTAPENKO 19 2-5 0-0 1 2 3 1 2 1 0 4 E WILLIAMS 17 1-2 3-3 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 6 MCCARTY 3 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 GRIFFIN 4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 BATTIE 5 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 HERREN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 31-80 19-26 13 28 41 20 23 7 12 87 (.388) (.731) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 12(8 PTS)

INDIANA 18 27 25 22 - 92 BOSTON 30 20 20 17 - 87

BLOCKED SHOTS: INDIANA - ROSE. BOSTON - BLOUNT 2. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: INDIANA 4-16 (.250), R MILLER 0-8, ROSE 2-3, CROSHERE 2-4, BEST 0-1. BOSTON 6-19 (.316), PIERCE 1-6, WALKER 2-7, STITH 2-4, E WILLIAMS 1-1, MCCARTY 0-1. TECHNICALS: INDIANA - ILLEGAL DEFENSE. OFFICIALS: HUGH EVANS, SCOTT FOSTER, GREG WILLARD. A - 18,624. T - 2:18.


Box Score

INDIANA (92) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Harrington 38 5-10 2-2 2-6 0 3 12 Oneal 43 6-8 3-7 2-12 0 5 15 Mckey 14 1-3 0-0 0-3 0 4 2 R Miller 39 2-18 0-0 0-7 1 2 4 Rose 37 10-14 3-4 0-3 5 3 25 Croshere 35 11-19 8-9 4-10 1 2 32 Best 27 1-3 0-0 0-2 9 4 2 Perkins 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Edney 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Foster 2 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 J Bender DNP - coach's decision Tabak DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-75 16-22 8-45 16 23 92 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.480, FT-.727. 3-Point Goals: 4-16, .250 (R Miller 0-8, Rose 2-3, Croshere 2-4, Best 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 1 (Rose). Turnovers: 12 (Rose 3, Best 2, Croshere 2, Harrington 2, Oneal, R Miller). Steals: 8 (Oneal 3, R Miller 2, Best, Croshere, Mckey).

BOSTON (87) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pierce 43 8-23 6-9 1-9 2 2 23 Walker 45 7-18 4-4 4-8 7 6 20 Blount 21 5-7 1-1 2-5 0 2 11 Brown 16 1-6 0-0 1-2 4 5 2 Stith 35 4-8 3-5 1-4 2 2 13 Palacio 32 3-9 2-4 3-7 3 2 8 Potapenko 19 2-5 0-0 1-3 1 2 4 E Williams 17 1-2 3-3 0-1 0 1 6 Mccarty 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 Griffin 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Battie 5 0-1 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 Herren DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-80 19-26 13-41 20 23 87 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.388, FT-.731. 3-Point Goals: 6-19, .316 (Pierce 1-6, Walker 2-7, Stith 2-4, E Williams 1-1, Mccarty 0-1). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 2 (Blount 2). Turnovers: 12 (Walker 4, Blount 3, Pierce 3, E Williams, Palacio). Steals: 7 (Blount 2, Palacio 2, Walker 2, Potapenko). ____________________________________________ Indiana 18 27 25 22 - 92 Boston 30 20 20 17 - 87 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Indiana 1 (Illegal Defense, 7:28 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,624. T: 2:18. Officials: Hugh Evans, Scott Foster, Greg Willard.


Game Story

BOSTON (Ticker) -- As Reggie Miller struggled through one of the worst shooting performances of his career, it was Austin Croshere who may have changed the complexion of the race for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot.

Croshere scored a career-high 32 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 39 seconds remaining, as the Indiana Pacers defeated the Boston Celtics, 92-87, to pull back into a tie for the final playoff spot in the East with 10 games remaining.

"Tonight was a playoff basketball game," Croshere said.

"This is by far Croshere's best game of the year," Indiana coach Isiah Thomas added. "I thought today, for the first time, all the hard work that he has put in finally showed up."

Miller was just 2-of-18 from the field and scored only four points, but Croshere helped the Pacers steal a crucial road victory. Indiana, which had lost 11 of its previous 13 games away from home, improved to 2-2 on a five-game road trip that concludes in Philadelphia on Sunday.

"He (Croshere) played a brilliant game," Boston coach Jim O'Brien said. "I thought it was a gutsy win for Indiana to come in here and beat us."

The Celtics had taken advantage of a favorable portion of their schedule to gain the upperhand against the Pacers. But Boston's slate gets considerably more difficult in the last month with only two games remaining against teams out of playoff contention.

Friday would have been a huge game for the Celtics to win as they now embark on a three-game road trip that takes them to Charlotte, Miami and Orlando before returning home to face the Los Angeles Lakers next Friday.

"We had an opportunity to go up two games before we went on the road," Boston forward Antoine Walker. "Now, we got to go back on the road and come up with some wins."

But the Pacers withstood Boston's early surge, rallying from a 26-10 deficit late in the first quarter. After 16 lead changes in the second half, Croshere's wide-open 3-pointer from the right corner gave the Pacers an 89-87 lead.

"That's a shot that you're going to take any time," Croshere said. "I was playing with a lot of confidence, got some early baskets pretty easily and my confidence kind of grew from there."

After Croshere's shot gave the Pacers the lead, Boston came up empty on its next possession as Paul Pierce and Walker each missed off-balance jumpers.

"We got hit with a George Foreman haymaker," Thomas said. "The first quarter, we were kind of doing a rope-a-dope, trying to hang in the game and just stay around."

Jalen Rose, who scored 25 points, hit a pair from the line with 10 seconds left before Jermaine O'Neal clinched the win with 1-of-2 from the line with 6.3 seconds to go after a turnover by Boston.

Indiana plays six of its final 10 games at home, including contests against Chicago and Washington. It also has road games at New Jersey, Chicago and Cleveland.

Pierce scored 23 points and Walker added 20 for the Celtics, who had a chance to open a two-game lead over the Pacers but instead had their four-game winning streak snapped. The Celtics took their final lead, 87-86, on Walker's follow shot with 51 seconds to go.

While Pierce fell only two points shy of his season average, the Celtics' leader struggled through a sub-par game and seemed to be at less 100 percent after suffering an apparent back injury when he collided with Croshere midway through the second quarter. The NBA's hottest player of late, Pierce returned later in the period but was just 8-of-23 from the field.

"Obviously, we blew a golden opportunity," Pierce said. "It hurt us, missing wide open shots and free throws. They just executed down the stretch, made big shots. We didn't. It was a game that we really wanted."

Spurred on by the crowd at FleetCenter, the Celtics scored the game's first 10 points before stretching the lead to 16.

But the Pacers closed the deficit to five at halftime and took their first lead, 60-59, on Al Harrington's fallaway jumper with 4:33 remaining in the third quarter.

With Pierce off the mark, the Celtics stagnated on offense in the second half, managing only 37 points. Pierce and Milt Palacio each missed two critical free throws in the final 3 1/2 minutes.

The Pacers opened a 79-74 lead on Rose's jumper with 6:29 remaining before Walker and Pierce tried to rally the Celtics. Pierce's baseline drive capped a 9-0 spurt that gave Boston an 83-79 lead with 4:57 to go.

But the Celtics could not sustain the momentum, going scoreless for more than three minutes. Rose converted a turnaround jumper and a 3-pointer before Travis Best sank his only basket of the game to make it 86-83 with 1:53 remaining.

Pierce's two foul shots and Walker's follow gave the Celtics their last lead. But Boston could have had a bigger margin as Palacio missed a pair from the line with 1:18 left.

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