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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- INDIANA 25 20 31 17 93 BOSTON 30 22 26 23 101 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: IND - JALEN ROSE 24, JEFF FOSTER 17, REGGIE MILLER 15 BOS - PAUL PIERCE 31, ANTOINE WALKER 24, JOE JOHNSON 22

HIGH REBOUND: IND - JEFF FOSTER 15, JERMAINE ONEAL 13 BOS - ANTOINE WALKER 18, TWO PLAYERS WITH 8

HIGH ASSISTS: IND - TRAVIS BEST 4, TWO PLAYERS WITH 3 BOS - ANTOINE WALKER 9, JOE JOHNSON 6

ATT: 14,081


Extended Box

INDIANA (93) AT BOSTON (101)

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

ROSE F 39 10-21 1-4 1 5 6 3 4 0 3 24 ONEAL F 39 6-15 2-4 1 12 13 1 3 1 3 14 FOSTER C 36 3-9 11-12 8 7 15 1 1 2 2 17 TINSLEY G 15 1-4 0-0 0 2 2 3 1 1 2 2 R MILLER G 29 6-10 1-1 1 1 2 2 1 2 1 15 HARRINGTON 35 3-11 0-0 3 3 6 2 4 0 1 6 BEST 16 1-6 0-0 1 1 2 4 1 1 0 2 BREZEC 9 3-4 2-4 3 2 5 0 2 0 0 8 J BENDER 11 1-5 0-0 1 1 2 0 1 0 1 3 CROSHERE 11 1-4 0-0 0 3 3 0 1 0 1 2 ROGERS DNP - COACH'S DECISION SUNDOV DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 35-89 17-25 19 37 56 16 19 7 14 93 (.393) (.680) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 14(17 PTS)

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

WALKER F 47 9-25 2-5 3 15 18 9 2 1 3 24 PIERCE F 46 9-19 10-11 0 6 6 5 3 2 3 31 BATTIE C 24 4-7 1-1 3 5 8 0 5 1 1 9 ANDERSON G 26 0-5 0-0 0 0 0 4 3 1 0 0 JOHNSON G 39 9-16 3-4 4 4 8 6 2 1 1 22 BLOUNT 6 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 2 POTAPENKO 18 3-5 1-4 2 3 5 1 0 1 1 7 STRICKLAND 19 2-6 0-0 1 2 3 1 1 1 2 4 PALACIO 14 1-4 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 MCCARTY 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 K BROWN DNP - COACH'S DECISION MCLEOD DNP - FLU

TOTALS 240 38-88 17-25 13 36 49 27 18 8 11 101 (.432) (.680) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 11(16 PTS)

INDIANA 25 20 31 17 - 93 BOSTON 30 22 26 23 - 101

BLOCKED SHOTS: INDIANA - FOSTER 3, ROGERS. BOSTON - BATTIE 2, WALKER, POTAPENKO. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: INDIANA 6-13 (.462), ROSE 3-5, R MILLER 2-4, J BENDER 1-2, CROSHERE 0-2. BOSTON 8-22 (.364), WALKER 4-12, PIERCE 3-4, JOHNSON 1-4, STRICKLAND 0-2. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BERNIE FRYER, GARY BENSON, GREG WILLARD. A - 14,081. T - 2:08.


Box Score

INDIANA (93) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Rose 39 10-21 1-4 1-6 3 4 24 Oneal 39 6-15 2-4 1-13 1 3 14 Foster 36 3-9 11-12 8-15 1 1 17 Tinsley 15 1-4 0-0 0-2 3 1 2 R Miller 29 6-10 1-1 1-2 2 1 15 Harrington 35 3-11 0-0 3-6 2 4 6 Best 16 1-6 0-0 1-2 4 1 2 Brezec 9 3-4 2-4 3-5 0 2 8 J Bender 11 1-5 0-0 1-2 0 1 3 Croshere 11 1-4 0-0 0-3 0 1 2 Rogers DNP - coach's decision Sundov DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-89 17-25 19-56 16 19 93 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.393, FT-.680. 3-Point Goals: 6-13, .462 (Rose 3-5, R Miller 2-4, J Bender 1-2, Croshere 0-2). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 4 (Foster 3, Rogers). Turnovers: 14 (Oneal 3, Rose 3, Foster 2, Tinsley 2, Croshere, Harrington, J Bender, R Miller). Steals: 7 (Foster 2, R Miller 2, Best, Oneal, Tinsley).

BOSTON (101) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Walker 47 9-25 2-5 3-18 9 2 24 Pierce 46 9-19 10-11 0-6 5 3 31 Battie 24 4-7 1-1 3-8 0 5 9 Anderson 26 0-5 0-0 0-0 4 3 0 Johnson 39 9-16 3-4 4-8 6 2 22 Blount 6 1-1 0-0 0-1 0 2 2 Potapenko 18 3-5 1-4 2-5 1 0 7 Strickland 19 2-6 0-0 1-3 1 1 4 Palacio 14 1-4 0-0 0-0 1 0 2 Mccarty 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 K Brown DNP - coach's decision Mcleod DNP - flu _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-88 17-25 13-49 27 18 101 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.432, FT-.680. 3-Point Goals: 8-22, .364 (Walker 4-12, Pierce 3-4, Johnson 1-4, Strickland 0-2). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 4 (Battie 2, Walker, Potapenko). Turnovers: 11 (Pierce 3, Walker 3, Strickland 2, Battie, Johnson, Potapenko). Steals: 8 (Pierce 2, Anderson, Battie, Johnson, Potapenko, Strickland, Walker). ____________________________________________ Indiana 25 20 31 17 - 93 Boston 30 22 26 23 - 101 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 14,081. T: 2:08. Officials: Bernie Fryer, Gary Benson, Greg Willard.


Game Story

BOSTON (Ticker) -- Rookie Joe Johnson is quickly endearing himself to Boston Celtics fans.

Johnson scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, including nine during a game-ending 15-7 run that lifted the Celtics to their third straight victory, a 101-93 triumph over the Indiana Pacers.

"Joe Johnson continues to play magnificent basketball," Celtics coach Jim O'Brien said. "He seems to have a way of operating that is smooth. He doesn't seem to make any bad decisions when he has the basketball."

The 6-8 Johnson, who left Arkansas after his sophomore season and was the 10th pick in the NBA draft, entered the contest averaging 12.7 points, giving the Celtics a third option after stars Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce.

"Somebody has to step up big for this team," Johnson said. "I don't want all the pressure to be on Paul and Antoine."

On Wednesday, however, the rookie was the unquestioned star of the decisive final period on Wednesday.

With the game tied 86-86 midway through the period, Johnson nailed a 3-pointer that put the Celtics ahead for good. Down the stretch, he had a runner in the lane and pair of layups as Boston held on.

"He's a good player, that's why they drafted him," Indiana coach Isiah Thomas said. "He came out tonight and made some shots for them. His baskets kind of kept us at bay."

Pierce led the way with 31 points and Walker contributed 24, 18 rebounds and nine assists for the Celtics, who snapped a three-game home losing streak to the Pacers, defeating them at the FleetCenter for the first time since November 22, 1999.

"It was a big win," said Pierce. "We defended our home court. This is a team that we will most likely have to go through to get to the playoffs."

Walker was one assist shy of his sixth career triple-double.

"We knew this would be a good early test for us," Walker said. "We gave them too many second chances. We probably could have won the game a little earlier."

Indiana's Jalen Rose scored 24 points but twice missed jumpers in the final 90 seconds that could have pulled the Pacers within four.

The Pacers, behind Jeff Foster's season-high 15 rebounds, held a 56-49 advantage on the boards. They shot just 39 percent (35-of-89) from the field but still managed to force an 86-86 tie on a free throw by rookie Primoz Brezec with 7:53 left.

Johnson, who missed his other three 3-point attempts, connected from beyond the arc. After Rose went 0-of-2 at the line, Erick Strickland added a reverse layup that pushed Boston's advantage to 91-86 with 5:20 to play.

Rose hit a 3-pointer that was answered by Pierce, and Johnson followed another basket by Rose with a bucket in the paint. Johnson, who was 10-of-21 from the field, said he likes getting the ball in key situations.

"O'Brien has shown confidence in me from day one," he stated. "I am just doing what I am supposed to do. This (the fourth quarter) is the moment a lot of players live for, especially myself."

The teams continued to trade baskets until Pierce hit with 1:36 remaining to put the Celtics on top, 99-93. The Pacers did not get any closer as they were unable to score the rest of the way.

"I think we did a good job of getting back into the ballgame," Pacers guard Reggie Miller said. "We fought our way back. Any time you run uphill, especially back-to-back, you are going to run out of gas at some point."

Johnson dished out six assists and pulled down eight rebounds for Boston, which shot on 43 percent (38-of-88), including 8-of-22 from 3-point range, and turned 14 Indiana turnovers into 17 points.

On the season, Johnson has 25 assists and just two turnovers.

"By far the best rookie I've ever played with, and he's a hard worker," Boston guard Kenny Anderson said.

Foster had 17 points and Miller contributed 15 for the Pacers, who have dropped two straight following a four-game winning streak.

"Jeff Foster is a great rebounder," said Thomas. "He works real hard. Once people keep seeing him, people will give him the credit for what he does."

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