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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     NEW YORK         24   20   25   26    95   
     BOSTON           28   22   24   23    97      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   NYK - ALLAN HOUSTON 22, LATRELL SPREWELL 18, 
                      KURT THOMAS 16
                BOS - ANTOINE WALKER 34, PAUL PIERCE 24, ERIC 
                      WILLIAMS 15

HIGH REBOUND:   NYK - CLARENCE WEATHERSPOON 8, OTHELLA 
                      HARRINGTON 7, TWO PLAYERS WITH 6
                BOS - TONY BATTIE 8, PAUL PIERCE 8, ERIC 
                      WILLIAMS 7

HIGH ASSISTS:   NYK - HOWARD EISLEY 10, LATRELL SPREWELL 6, 
                      ALLAN HOUSTON 3
                BOS - PAUL PIERCE 6, J.R. BREMER 6, ERIC 
                      WILLIAMS 4

         ATT:   16,277

Box Score

NEW YORK (95) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp L Sprewell 44 7-19 3-4 0-6 6 1 18 O Harrington 27 3-6 4-4 3-7 0 4 10 K Thomas 25 7-12 2-2 1-6 1 5 16 H Eisley 38 5-9 1-2 0-3 10 3 15 A Houston 33 8-21 4-4 0-3 3 4 22 S Anderson 25 3-7 2-2 0-3 0 1 8 C Weatherspoon 32 3-7 0-0 3-8 0 3 6 M Doleac 6 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 0 0 F Williams 10 0-1 0-0 0-1 2 0 0 T Knight DNP - COACH'S DECISION L Nailon DNP - COACH'S DECISION L Postell DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-83 16-18 8-38 22 21 95 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.434, FT-.889. 3-Point Goals: 7-27, .259 (L Sprewell 1-9, H Eisley 4-6, A Houston 2-8, S Anderson 0-4). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:2 (L Sprewell, K Thomas). Turnovers:12 (L Sprewell 4, H Eisley 2, O Harrington 2, C Weatherspoon, A Houston, S Anderson, M Doleac). Steals: 6 (H Eisley 2, C Weatherspoon, S Anderson, F Williams, L Sprewell). BOSTON (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp A Walker 43 15-31 1-3 1-6 3 2 34 E Williams 38 6-9 3-3 1-7 4 4 15 T Battie 32 1-2 3-6 1-8 0 1 5 J Bremer 20 3-7 0-0 0-0 6 0 9 P Pierce 35 7-14 9-12 1-8 6 4 24 T Delk 28 2-5 0-0 0-3 1 0 5 M Blount 9 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 3 0 W Mccarty 13 1-2 0-0 0-2 0 0 3 G Long 9 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 K Brown 13 1-2 0-0 1-1 0 2 2 M Bryant DNP - COACH'S DECISION B Sundov DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-73 16-24 5-37 20 17 97 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.493, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals: 9-23, .391 (A Walker 3-7, T Battie 0-1, J Bremer 3-6, P Pierce 1-3, T Delk 1-3, W Mccarty 1-2, K Brown 0-1). Team Rebounds: 11. Blocked Shots:4 (T Battie 2, E Williams, M Blount). Turnovers:12 (A Walker 3, P Pierce 3, E Williams 2, T Delk, J Bremer, M Blount, K Brown). Steals: 8 (K Brown 3, P Pierce 2, A Walker, J Bremer, M Blount). ------------------------------------------- NEW YORK 24 20 25 26 - 95 BOSTON 28 22 24 23 - 97 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Boston - 1 (M Blount, 2:05 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 16,277. T: 2:09. Officials: Ken Mauer, Rodney Mott, Scott Foster.


Extended Box

NEW YORK (95) AT BOSTON (97) NEW YORK REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === L SPREWELL F 44 7-19 3-4 0 6 6 6 1 1 4 18 O HARRINGTON F 27 3-6 4-4 3 4 7 0 4 0 2 10 K THOMAS C 25 7-12 2-2 1 5 6 1 5 0 0 16 H EISLEY G 38 5-9 1-2 0 3 3 10 3 2 2 15 A HOUSTON G 33 8-21 4-4 0 3 3 3 4 0 1 22 S ANDERSON 25 3-7 2-2 0 3 3 0 1 1 1 8 C WEATHERSPOON 32 3-7 0-0 3 5 8 0 3 1 1 6 M DOLEAC 6 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 F WILLIAMS 10 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 T KNIGHT DNP - COACH'S DECISION L NAILON DNP - COACH'S DECISION L POSTELL DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 36-83 16-18 8 30 38 22 21 6 12 95 (.434) (.889) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 12 (18 PTS) BOSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === A WALKER F 43 15-31 1-3 1 5 6 3 2 1 3 34 E WILLIAMS F 38 6-9 3-3 1 6 7 4 4 0 2 15 T BATTIE C 32 1-2 3-6 1 7 8 0 1 0 0 5 J BREMER G 20 3-7 0-0 0 0 0 6 0 1 1 9 P PIERCE G 35 7-14 9-12 1 7 8 6 4 2 3 24 T DELK 28 2-5 0-0 0 3 3 1 0 0 1 5 M BLOUNT 9 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 3 1 1 0 W MCCARTY 13 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 3 G LONG 9 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 K BROWN 13 1-2 0-0 1 0 1 0 2 3 1 2 M BRYANT DNP - COACH'S DECISION B SUNDOV DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 36-73 16-24 5 32 37 20 17 8 12 97 (.493) (.667) TEAM REBS: 11 TOTAL TO: 12 (7 PTS) NEW YORK 24 20 25 26 - 95 BOSTON 28 22 24 23 - 97 BLOCKED SHOTS: NEW YORK - L SPREWELL, K THOMAS. BOSTON - T BATTIE 2, E WILLIAMS, M BLOUNT. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: NEW YORK 7-27 (.259), L SPREWELL 1-9, H EISLEY 4- 6, A HOUSTON 2-8, S ANDERSON 0-4. BOSTON 9-23 (.391), A WALKER 3-7, T BATTIE 0-1, J BREMER 3-6, P PIERCE 1-3, T DELK 1-3, W MCCARTY 1- 2, K BROWN 0-1. TECHNICAL FOULS: BOSTON - M BLOUNT. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: KEN MAUER, RODNEY MOTT, SCOTT FOSTER. A - 16,277. T - 2:09.


Game Story

BOSTON (Ticker) -- The New York Knicks paid for not going to their hottest player. Latrell Sprewell shot an airball on a potential game-winning 3-pointer and Tony Battie blocked Clarence Weatherspoon's follow shot as time expired, allowing the Boston Celtics to escape with a 97-95 victory over the Knicks. Facing a rested team after playing on Tuesday, the Knicks never led but hung in behind leading scorer Allan Houston, who carried the offense in the fourth quarter. Paul Pierce made 1-of-2 free throws with 63 seconds left to give the Celtics a 96-92 lead. But Houston, who scored 13 of his 22 points in the final period, drilled a 3-pointer 12 seconds later. After Boston's Antoine Walker missed on the ensuing possession, Houston also misfired on a tough jumper from the left elbow over Pierce. Battie drew a foul after grabbing the rebound and split a pair of foul shots, making it 97-95 with 12 seconds remaining. Following a timeout, the Knicks went to Sprewell for the win. Point guard Howard Eisley penetrated into the lane and found Sprewell wide open in the right corner, where he threw up an airball. The 6-7 Weatherspoon secured the rebound in the lane but had his shot swatted by the 6-11 Battie as time expired. Sprewell said he was not distracted by Walker flying out at him. "No, no," he said. I just rushed it. I rushed the shot. I didn't realize how much time was left. It was a good play by Howard (Eisley), but I've got to at least hit the rim. It's embarrassing." "What you want is a good look," Knicks coach Don Chaney said. "The ball could have gone in just as easily or not. I don't dwell on that. I dwell on the fact that we had a chance, we had a good look. We executed well enough with guys in foul trouble to be in the game. That's what I look at." Houston had no complaints, even though the final play was designed for him. "The play was for me to come off the other side," he said. "A couple of guys went to me and Spree came off and was wide open. The play worked for the most part." Walker finished with 34 points and Pierce 24 for the Celtics, who have won four of their last five games to pull within three games of first-place New Jersey in the Atlantic Division. "We're getting real comforatable together, especially with our defense," Walker said. "Our defense is starting to come together at the right time. Our offense is quick. We're finally hitting guys who are playing unselfish, getting the higher number of assists game in and game out. We couldn't ask to be playing better right now." Guarded by Pierce for much of the night, Houston failed to make an impact until the fourth quarter. He scored 11 of this club's first 14 points in the final period, capped by his three-point play to pull the Knicks within 88-85 at the 5:27 mark. "I just think you have to try to keep attacking," Houston said. "That's all I wanted to do." But Houston also proved to be a liability, getting taken advantage of in the post by the bigger Eric Williams on numerous occasions. Williams and Houston traded baskets but Kurt Thomas scored five straight points for the Knicks, tying the contest at 92-92 with 1:58 remaining. Walker, who abused Weatherspoon for much of the night, got free and drilled a 3-pointer from the right side with 1:39 to go, giving the Celtics the lead for good. With Pierce playing through foul trouble, Walker was the primary offensive option for the Celtics and finished 15-of-31 from the field. Pierce went 7-of-14 from the floor and 9-of-12 at the line. Williams added 15 points for the Celtics, who shot 49 percent (36-of-73) and beat the Knicks for the eighth straight time. Boston has swept consecutive season series from New York for the first time since 1965-66 and 1966-67 campaigns. Sprewell finished with 18 points, including a woeful 1-of-9 from 3-point range, and Thomas added 16 for New York, which shot 43 percent (36-of-83) and held a 38-37 edge on the boards. Walker did most of damage in the first half, when he scored 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting and helped the Celtics to a 50-44 edge at the break. A running jumper by Walker gave the Celtics their biggest lead at 60-48 early in the third quarter. The Knicks were able to close to 74-69 entering the final period. "We got off to a pretty good lead in the first half but we kind of let them back in the game in the third quarter, which made for a dogfight down the stretch," Battie said.


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