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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- BOSTON 14 24 22 27 87 MIAMI 21 17 22 22 82 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: BOS - ERICK STRICKLAND 23, PAUL PIERCE 19, ANTOINE WALKER 17 MIA - ALONZO MOURNING 20, EDDIE JONES 19, JIMMY JACKSON 12

HIGH REBOUND: BOS - ERICK STRICKLAND 6, THREE PLAYERS WITH 5 MIA - BRIAN GRANT 12, ALONZO MOURNING 10, JIMMY JACKSON 9

HIGH ASSISTS: BOS - PAUL PIERCE 5, THREE PLAYERS WITH 3 MIA - ROD STRICKLAND 5, EDDIE JONES 4, BRIAN GRANT 3

ATT: 15,328


Extended Box

BOSTON (87) AT MIAMI (82)

BOSTON

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

A WALKER F 45 5-12 5-8 0 4 4 3 3 1 0 17 E WILLIAMS F 22 5-10 1-2 2 3 5 1 3 3 0 11 T BATTIE C 35 3-6 1-2 1 4 5 0 5 2 2 7 T DELK G 21 1-6 0-0 1 1 2 3 0 0 1 2 P PIERCE G 44 6-19 6-7 2 3 5 5 3 2 3 19 R ROGERS 18 2-7 0-2 2 2 4 2 5 0 0 5 E STRICKLAND 28 6-14 8-8 0 6 6 3 4 2 3 23 V POTAPENKO 11 0-1 0-0 2 2 4 0 3 0 1 0 W MCCARTY 16 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 2 1 0 0 3 M BLOUNT DNP - COACH'S DECISION J FORTE DNP - COACH'S DECISION K BROWN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 29-77 21-29 10 27 37 19 27 10 10 87 (.377) (.724) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 10 (10 PTS)

MIAMI

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

J JACKSON F 39 3-10 4-4 0 9 9 2 3 1 3 12 B GRANT F 32 4-7 0-0 4 8 12 3 4 1 1 8 A MOURNING C 37 3-7 14-17 2 8 10 0 4 0 4 20 R STRICKLAND G 28 2-8 0-0 0 2 2 5 2 0 5 4 E JONES G 42 6-16 5-7 1 3 4 4 4 0 2 19 C GATLING 9 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 5 0 0 0 L ELLIS 22 2-9 1-4 1 4 5 0 4 0 2 6 E HOUSE 20 3-6 0-0 0 1 1 2 3 1 3 7 V STEPANIA 11 3-4 0-0 1 0 1 0 2 0 1 6 K GILL DNP - COACH'S DECISION S MARKS DNP - COACH'S DECISION A CARTER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 26-68 24-32 9 36 45 17 31 3 21 82 (.382) (.750) TEAM REBS: 14 TOTAL TO: 21 (22 PTS)

BOSTON 14 24 22 27 - 87 MIAMI 21 17 22 22 - 82

BLOCKED SHOTS: BOSTON - W MCCARTY, T BATTIE, P PIERCE. MIAMI - A MOURNING 2, E JONES 2, J JACKSON, L ELLIS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: BOSTON 8-25 (.320), A WALKER 2-6, E WILLIAMS 0- 1, T DELK 0-1, P PIERCE 1-4, R ROGERS 1-3, E STRICKLAND 3-8, W MCCARTY 1- 2. MIAMI 6-17 (.353), J JACKSON 2-2, R STRICKLAND 0-1, E JONES 2-7, L ELLIS 1-4, E HOUSE 1-3. TECHNICAL FOULS: BOSTON - COACH O'BRIEN. MIAMI - DEFENSIVE THREE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: COURTNEY KIRKLAND, DERRICK STAFFORD, MICHAEL SMITH. A - 15,328. T - 2:24.


Box Score

BOSTON (87)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp A Walker 45 5-12 5-8 0-4 3 3 17 E Williams 22 5-10 1-2 2-5 1 3 11 T Battie 35 3-6 1-2 1-5 0 5 7 T Delk 21 1-6 0-0 1-2 3 0 2 P Pierce 44 6-19 6-7 2-5 5 3 19 R Rogers 18 2-7 0-2 2-4 2 5 5 E Strickland 28 6-14 8-8 0-6 3 4 23 V Potapenko 11 0-1 0-0 2-4 0 3 0 W Mccarty 16 1-2 0-0 0-2 2 1 3 M Blount DNP - COACH'S DECISION J Forte DNP - COACH'S DECISION K Brown DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-77 21-29 10-37 19 27 87 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.377, FT-.724. 3-Point Goals: 8-25, .320 (A Walker 2-6, E Williams 0-1, T Delk 0-1, P Pierce 1-4, R Rogers 1-3, E Strickland 3-8, W Mccarty 1-2). Team Rebounds: 10. Blocked Shots:3 (W Mccarty, T Battie, P Pierce). Turnovers:10 (E Strickland 3, P Pierce 3, T Battie 2, T Delk, V Potapenko). Steals: 10 (E Williams 3, E Strickland 2, T Battie 2, P Pierce 2, A Walker).

MIAMI (82)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Jackson 39 3-10 4-4 0-9 2 3 12 B Grant 32 4-7 0-0 4-12 3 4 8 A Mourning 37 3-7 14-17 2-10 0 4 20 R Strickland 28 2-8 0-0 0-2 5 2 4 E Jones 42 6-16 5-7 1-4 4 4 19 C Gatling 9 0-1 0-0 0-1 1 5 0 L Ellis 22 2-9 1-4 1-5 0 4 6 E House 20 3-6 0-0 0-1 2 3 7 V Stepania 11 3-4 0-0 1-1 0 2 6 K Gill DNP - COACH'S DECISION S Marks DNP - COACH'S DECISION A Carter DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 26-68 24-32 9-45 17 31 82 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.382, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 6-17, .353 (J Jackson 2-2, R Strickland 0-1, E Jones 2-7, L Ellis 1-4, E House 1-3). Team Rebounds: 14. Blocked Shots:6 (A Mourning 2, E Jones 2, J Jackson, L Ellis). Turnovers:21 (R Strickland 5, A Mourning 4, J Jackson 3, E House 3, L Ellis 2, E Jones 2, B Grant, V Stepania). Steals: 3 (B Grant, J Jackson, E House).

------------------------------------------- BOSTON 14 24 22 27 - 87 MIAMI 21 17 22 22 - 82 -------------------------------------------

Technical fouls: Boston - 1 (COACH O'Brien, 0:05 4th). Miami - 1 (Defensive Three, 9:22 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,328. T: 2:24. Officials: Courtney Kirkland, Derrick Stafford, Michael Smith.


Game Story

MIAMI (Ticker) -- Erick Strickland may have sealed the fate of the Miami Heat.

Strickland scored a season-high 23 points and nailed a huge 3-pointer in the final minute as the Boston Celtics posted an 87-82 victory over the Heat, whose playoff hopes were dealt a crippling blow.

Miami has recovered from a terrible start to get back in the playoff hunt but had lost three of its previous four games with just 14 remaining.

"I don't care about the standings, my main concern is for us to start winning," Miami center Alonzo Mourning said. "If we start winning, the standings will take care of themselves."

The Heat contained the Celtics' potent combination of Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker but were done in by the team's sixth-leading scorer.

Averaging just 7.2 points per game, Strickland scored 10 in the final six minutes. He made 6-of-14 shots and grabbed six rebounds off the bench.

"He really played very well, played within himself," Boston coach Jim O'Brien said. "We talked to him at halftime and said, `Yyou're a hell of a shooter, we're just going to keep giving you the basketball. When you're open you're going to knock them down.' He made some big shots for us."

The teams were tied three times and traded the lead four times before Walker made a jumper to put Boston ahead for good, 74-73, with 4:53 left.

After Tony Battie made a hook shot, Strickland buried a 3-pointer for 79-73 cushion with 2:07 remaining. But Jimmy Jackson responded with a 3-pointer and Mourning added two free throws to cut the deficit to one point with 76 seconds to go.

Strickland made a driving layup and, after Jackson sank two free throws, buried another 3-pointer to give Boston an 84-80 edge at 24 seconds.

"It's a really big shot, just a big swing late in the game," Strickland said. "It gives you a lot more confidence. It makes them a lot tighter coming down for their shot. The whole team, they just kept telling mem `Shoot the ball. If you've got the shot, take it.' They stayed confident in me."

"The game was an 81-80 game and they let one go that went in," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "I thought Erick Strickland did a great job. He scored 10 in the last six minutes and hit two threes for them."

Strickland sealed the victory with a pair of free throws eight seconds later and Pierce added 1-of-2 with nine seconds to play.

Pierce had 19 points and Walker 17 for the Celtics, who are in third place in the Eastern Conference, 1 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee.

Mourning collected 20 points and 10 rebounds and Eddie Jones scored 19 points for Miami, which fell four games behind Indiana for the final playoff spot in the East.

"I believe in them," Riley said. "As much of a daunting task as this is, don't ever count yourself out until the numbers say you are out."

"We aren't quitting, we don't have any quit in us," Jones added. "If we did, at 5-23 we would've quit. We had a tough night tonight, we just need to bounce back. We are taking this game-by-game."

The Heat's loss allowed the New Jersey Nets to become the first team in the Eastern Conference to clinch a playoff berth.

Jackson finished with 12 points and nine rebounds and Brian Grant added eight and 12 for Miami, which shot just 38 percent (26-of-68) and committed 21 turnovers leading to 22 points for Boston.

The Celtics shot just under 38 percent (29-of-77) but had just 10 turnovers despite playing without point guard Kenny Anderson, who was placed on the injured list Monday.

Miami jumped out to a 14-4 lead less than six minutes into the game, but Boston scored seven of the next eight points to pull within 15-11. The Heat had a 23-16 edge 71 seconds into the second period before Pierce scored six points during a 7-0 run and tied it with a layup with 8:02 to go.

There were 15 ties and 14 lead chances before Walker's jumper gave the Celtics the lead for good with 4:52 remaining.

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