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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- BOSTON 31 20 40 16 107 MIAMI 25 27 21 23 96 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: BOS - PAUL PIERCE 31, DANA BARROS 27, RON MERCER 19 MIA - CLARENCE WEATHERSPOON 19, TERRY PORTER 15, TWO PLAYERS WITH 14

HIGH REBOUND: BOS - RON MERCER 7, VITALY POTAPENKO 7 MIA - PJ BROWN 8, MARK STRICKLAND 8

HIGH ASSISTS: BOS - DANA BARROS 8, RON MERCER 6 MIA - TIM HARDAWAY 10, DAN MAJERLE 4

ATT: 15,200


Extended Box

BOSTON (107) AT MIAMI (96)

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

BATTIE F 24 1-2 0-0 1 2 3 1 4 0 1 2 PIERCE F 44 12-19 4-4 0 5 5 2 1 1 4 31 POTAPENKO C 32 6-9 2-3 3 4 7 1 3 0 2 14 BARROS G 32 9-10 5-6 0 5 5 8 1 5 5 27 MERCER G 45 8-20 3-5 2 5 7 6 2 2 3 19 GARNETT 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 D JONES 16 2-5 0-0 0 2 2 3 2 0 0 5 MCCARTY 36 3-9 2-2 0 1 1 4 3 2 2 9 MINOR 4 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 RILEY 4 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 SCHINTZIUS DNP - COACH'S DECISION WALKER DNP - SPRAINED LEFT ANKLE

TOTALS 240 41-74 16-20 7 24 31 26 17 11 17 107 (.554) (.800) TEAM REBS: 4 TOTAL TO: 18(20 PTS)

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

MASHBURN F 32 4-11 3-4 0 4 4 2 1 0 3 11 WEATHERSPOON F 34 6-8 7-9 1 2 3 0 3 3 0 19 BROWN C 39 7-12 0-0 3 5 8 2 2 1 2 14 HARDAWAY G 33 5-12 1-1 1 1 2 10 5 1 9 14 MAJERLE G 30 2-3 2-2 0 4 4 4 1 2 3 8 ASKINS 9 0-1 0-0 0 3 3 0 2 2 0 0 LENARD 14 2-5 2-3 0 3 3 2 0 0 0 6 PORTER 28 5-11 4-4 0 1 1 2 0 2 2 15 STRICKLAND 21 4-8 1-2 4 4 8 1 1 1 1 9 CAUSWELL DNP - COACH'S DECISION CONLON DNP - COACH'S DECISION MOURNING DNP - SLIGHT FRACTURE

TOTALS 240 35-71 20-25 9 27 36 23 15 12 20 96 (.493) (.800) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 22(28 PTS)

BOSTON 31 20 40 16 - 107 MIAMI 25 27 21 23 - 96

BLOCKED SHOTS: BOSTON - PIERCE 3, BATTIE 3, RILEY 2, POTAPENKO. MIAMI - BROWN, ASKINS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: BOSTON 9-17 (.529), PIERCE 3-6, BARROS 4-4, MERCER 0-1, D JONES 1-1, MCCARTY 1-5. MIAMI 6-17 (.353), HARDAWAY 3-8, MAJERLE 2-3, ASKINS 0-1, LENARD 0-1, PORTER 1-4. TECHNICALS: MIAMI - ASKINS. OFFICIALS: HUE HOLLINS, RASHAN MICHEL, BILL SPOONER. A - 15,200. T - 2:11.


Box Score

BOSTON (107) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Battie 24 1-2 0-0 1-3 1 4 2 Pierce 44 12-19 4-4 0-5 2 1 31 Potapenko 32 6-9 2-3 3-7 1 3 14 Barros 32 9-10 5-6 0-5 8 1 27 Mercer 45 8-20 3-5 2-7 6 2 19 Garnett 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 D Jones 16 2-5 0-0 0-2 3 2 5 Mccarty 36 3-9 2-2 0-1 4 3 9 Minor 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Riley 4 0-0 0-0 1-1 0 0 0 Schintzius DNP - coach's decision Walker DNP - sprained left ankle _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-74 16-20 7-31 26 17 107 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.554, FT-.800. 3-Point Goals: 9-17, .529 (Pierce 3-6, Barros 4-4, Mercer 0-1, D Jones 1-1, Mccarty 1-5). Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 9 (Pierce 3, Battie 3, Riley 2, Potapenko). Turnovers: 18 (Barros 5, Pierce 4, Mercer 3, Mccarty 2, Potapenko 2, Battie). Steals: 11 (Barros 5, Mccarty 2, Mercer 2, Minor, Pierce).

MIAMI (96) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Mashburn 32 4-11 3-4 0-4 2 1 11 Weatherspoon 34 6-8 7-9 1-3 0 3 19 Brown 39 7-12 0-0 3-8 2 2 14 Hardaway 33 5-12 1-1 1-2 10 5 14 Majerle 30 2-3 2-2 0-4 4 1 8 Askins 9 0-1 0-0 0-3 0 2 0 Lenard 14 2-5 2-3 0-3 2 0 6 Porter 28 5-11 4-4 0-1 2 0 15 Strickland 21 4-8 1-2 4-8 1 1 9 Causwell DNP - coach's decision Conlon DNP - coach's decision Mourning DNP - slight fracture _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-71 20-25 9-36 23 15 96 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.493, FT-.800. 3-Point Goals: 6-17, .353 (Hardaway 3-8, Majerle 2-3, Askins 0-1, Lenard 0-1, Porter 1-4). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 2 (Brown, Askins). Turnovers: 22 (Hardaway 9, Majerle 3, Mashburn 3, Brown 2, Porter 2, Strickland). Steals: 12 (Weatherspoon 3, Askins 2, Majerle 2, Porter 2, Brown, Hardaway, Strickland). ____________________________________________ Boston 31 20 40 16 - 107 Miami 25 27 21 23 - 96 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Miami 1 (Askins, 5:44 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,200. T: 2:11. Officials: Hue Hollins, Rashan Michel, Bill Spooner.


Game Story

MIAMI (Ticker) -- With or without Alonzo Mourning, the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat have been unable to figure out the Boston Celtics.

Rookie Paul Pierce scored 15 of his season-high 31 points in the decisive third quarter as the Celtics completed a three-game season series sweep of the Heat with a 107-96 victory.

In the third quarter, Pierce made all three of his 3-pointers and the Celtics sank all seven of theirs. They scored 40 points in the period, the most scored against Miami in any quarter this season, to turn a 52-51 halftime deficit into an 18-point lead.

The total points were the most against the Heat since Boston posted a 108-101 victory in Miami on February 9. The Celtics also notched an 82-81 home win over the Heat earlier this month on a last-second shot by Antoine Walker.

"We've played great basketball all three times and we won all of them in different ways," said Celtics coach Rick Pitino. "But they're still a better basketball team than we are."

Mourning was in Miami's lineup for both earlier contests but the league's top shot-blocker missed this meeting with an eye injury. He sat out for the second straight game and is expected to miss Saturday's contest against Chicago.

"They were missing their best defensive player. They don't have great individual defenders, but they have great team defense," said Celtics guard Dana Barros. "So when the middle guy is gone, it's the key to everything. That was a big problem for them tonight, there was no Zo there."

The Heat, who have suffered only two other losses to teams below .500, saw their lead over Orlando shrink to one game for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Surpassing his previous season best by one point, Pierce scored 10 points in a pivotal 26-4 burst in the third. His 3-pointer capped it, giving Boston its biggest lead at 89-68 with 1:47 left.

"I knew I had a smaller man on me (Keith Askins) in the third quarter and we got on a roll and played great defense," Pierce said. "It was a lot of fun. ... Maybe we can start next season the way we're ending this one."

When Miami pulled within six points in the final period, Pierce had the answer. A 3-pointer by Tim Hardaway cut it to 98-92 with 6:38 remaining. Pierce responded with a runner off the glass and, after a foul shot by Ron Mercer, sank a pair of free throws to make it 103-92 with 5:44 to go.

Miami got no closer than nine points thereafter.

"I simply thought we had our heads handed to us," said Heat coach Pat Riley. "They had a run in the third quarter and it was too hard for our guys to come from behind. They put pressure on us and they trapped and we couldn't match their effort."

The Celtics, who had dropped nine in a row in this series prior to this year, last swept the season series from the Heat during the 1989-90 campaign. That was just Miami's second year as an NBA franchise and Mourning's sophomore season at Georgetown.

Needed to pick up the scoring slack for Mourning, Hardaway had just 14 points. He handed out 10 assists, but also committed nine of Miami's 22 turnovers, which resulted in 28 points for Boston.

"I feel like I let the team down," Hardaway said. "I wish we could play them one more time."

Barros collected a season-high 27 points, eight assists and five steals for the Celtics, who made 9-of-17 3-pointers and shot better than 55 percent (41-of-74) from the field overall.

With Miami clinging to a 64-63 lead midway through the third, one of Barros' four 3-pointers sparked the pivotal 26-4 run and put Boston ahead for good. The Heat were within 74-68 with less than five minutes left when Pierce took over.

The former University of Kansas standout buried a 16-footer and, after a layup by Vitaly Potapenko, dunked off a feed by Damon Jones for an 80-68 lead. After Pierce drained a 3-pointer, the Heat were whistled for a five-second violation as they tried to inbound after calling timeout.

"He's just scratching the surface and his moves are going to get better," Pitino said of Pierce. "What I love about him is he's not one-dimensional. He's a very special guy."

Jones followed with a 3-pointer before Pierce closed the run with one of his own. Barros chipped in nine points in the period, which ended with Boston holding a 91-73 cushion.

Besides Pierce dominating in the second half, another big difference for the Heat over the final 24 minutes was the disappearance of Clarence Weatherspoon. In the starting lineup in Mourning's absence, Weatherspoon scored 16 points in the first half but managed just three in the second.

Ron Mercer had 19 points, seven boards and six assists for the Celtics, who blew a 16-point lead Tuesday in a 92-85 loss to Detroit.

The Heat have lost their last two home games after losing just four times in their first 20 contests at Miami Arena. Boston is the only team to win there twice this season.

Terry Porter contributed 15 points and P.J. Brown added 14 for the Heat, whose four remaining games include three at home.

"Tonight was a horrible performance, especially on the defensive end," Brown said. "This is especially scary because of how close we are to the playoffs."

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