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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- MIAMI 21 19 21 23 84 BOSTON 23 22 24 27 96 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: MIA - VOSHON LENARD 23, ALONZO MOURNING 21, JAMAL MASHBURN 14 BOS - PAUL PIERCE 26, KENNY ANDERSON 22, VITALY POTAPENKO 14

HIGH REBOUND: MIA - JAMAL MASHBURN 10, CLARENCE WEATHERSPOON 9 BOS - TONY BATTIE 12, VITALY POTAPENKO 9

HIGH ASSISTS: MIA - JAMAL MASHBURN 6, TWO PLAYERS WITH 4 BOS - ADRIAN GRIFFIN 5, THREE PLAYERS WITH 4

ATT: 15,954


Extended Box

MIAMI (84) AT BOSTON (96)

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

BROWN F 35 4-11 1-1 2 4 6 3 5 0 0 9 MASHBURN F 44 5-13 3-8 1 9 10 6 4 1 6 14 MOURNING C 34 9-11 3-6 0 5 5 1 5 0 2 21 CARTER G 16 1-4 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 2 MAJERLE G 29 2-4 0-0 0 7 7 4 4 2 1 6 WEATHERSPOON 20 2-7 1-2 5 4 9 0 1 2 0 5 WALTERS 21 1-7 0-0 0 1 1 3 2 1 3 2 LENARD 32 8-14 4-7 2 0 2 4 4 2 3 23 H JAMISON 6 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 BUFORD 3 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 CAUSWELL DNP - BIRTH IN FAMILY STRICKLAND DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 33-74 12-24 10 30 40 22 27 9 18 84 (.446) (.500) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 19(22 PTS)

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

GRIFFIN F 26 1-3 2-2 0 3 3 5 2 1 0 4 WALKER F 38 4-16 4-6 2 5 7 4 0 1 1 12 POTAPENKO C 26 7-10 0-2 4 5 9 1 5 1 5 14 ANDERSON G 34 8-9 4-5 0 3 3 4 4 0 2 22 PIERCE G 38 9-22 6-8 1 4 5 4 2 9 1 26 WILLIAMS 21 1-4 3-4 2 0 2 0 3 0 0 5 ELLISON 9 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 3 0 1 2 BARROS 14 1-4 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 0 1 2 BATTIE 23 3-5 3-4 3 9 12 0 5 1 2 9 CHEANEY 11 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 MCCARTY DNP - COACH'S DECISION OVERTON DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 35-77 22-31 13 34 47 18 26 13 13 96 (.455) (.710) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 14(10 PTS)

MIAMI 21 19 21 23 - 84 BOSTON 23 22 24 27 - 96

BLOCKED SHOTS: MIAMI - MOURNING 4. BOSTON - BATTIE 5, WALKER 2, PIERCE. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: MIAMI 6-17 (.353), MASHBURN 1-3, MAJERLE 2-4, WALTERS 0-4, LENARD 3-6. BOSTON 4-14 (.286), GRIFFIN 0-1, WALKER 0-5, ANDERSON 2-2, PIERCE 2-6. TECHNICALS: BOSTON - HEAD COACH PITINO 2 (EJECTED), PIERCE. OFFICIALS: JOE FORTE, NOLAN FINE, LEROY RICHARDSON. A - 15,954. T - 2:18.


Box Score

MIAMI (84) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Brown 35 4-11 1-1 2-6 3 5 9 Mashburn 44 5-13 3-8 1-10 6 4 14 Mourning 34 9-11 3-6 0-5 1 5 21 Carter 16 1-4 0-0 0-0 0 1 2 Majerle 29 2-4 0-0 0-7 4 4 6 Weatherspoon 20 2-7 1-2 5-9 0 1 5 Walters 21 1-7 0-0 0-1 3 2 2 Lenard 32 8-14 4-7 2-2 4 4 23 H Jamison 6 1-2 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 Buford 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Causwell DNP - birth in family Strickland DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-74 12-24 10-40 22 27 84 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.446, FT-.500. 3-Point Goals: 6-17, .353 (Mashburn 1-3, Majerle 2-4, Walters 0-4, Lenard 3-6). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 4 (Mourning 4). Turnovers: 19 (Mashburn 6, Carter 3, Lenard 3, Walters 3, Mourning 2, Majerle). Steals: 9 (Lenard 2, Majerle 2, Weatherspoon 2, Carter, Mashburn, Walters).

BOSTON (96) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Griffin 26 1-3 2-2 0-3 5 2 4 Walker 38 4-16 4-6 2-7 4 0 12 Potapenko 26 7-10 0-2 4-9 1 5 14 Anderson 34 8-9 4-5 0-3 4 4 22 Pierce 38 9-22 6-8 1-5 4 2 26 Williams 21 1-4 3-4 2-2 0 3 5 Ellison 9 1-2 0-0 0-2 0 3 2 Barros 14 1-4 0-0 1-3 0 0 2 Battie 23 3-5 3-4 3-12 0 5 9 Cheaney 11 0-2 0-0 0-1 0 2 0 Mccarty DNP - coach's decision Overton DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-77 22-31 13-47 18 26 96 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.455, FT-.710. 3-Point Goals: 4-14, .286 (Griffin 0-1, Walker 0-5, Anderson 2-2, Pierce 2-6). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 8 (Battie 5, Walker 2, Pierce). Turnovers: 14 (Potapenko 5, Anderson 2, Battie 2, Barros, Ellison, Pierce, Walker). Steals: 13 (Pierce 9, Battie, Griffin, Potapenko, Walker). ____________________________________________ Miami 21 19 21 23 - 84 Boston 23 22 24 27 - 96 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Boston 3 (Head Coach Pitino 2 (ejected), 1:23 2nd; Pierce, 1:23 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,954. T: 2:18. Officials: Joe Forte, Nolan Fine, Leroy Richardson.


Game Story

BOSTON (Ticker) -- Maybe Boston Celtics coach Rick Pitino should should get tossed more often.

The Celtics responded to Pitino's ejection late in the second quarter to roll over the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat, 96-84, for the 2,500th win in franchise history.

Paul Pierce collected 26 points and nine steals and Kenny Anderson scored 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting for Boston, which improved its all-time mark to 2,500-1,609 (.608).

"With coach Pitino getting ejected, it really fired us up," Pierce said. "We know the kind of game Miami plays. We just played up to their level tonight."

With 1:23 remaining in the second period, Celtics center Tony Battie screamed at the officials after getting poked in the eye, although replays appeared to indicated he was accidentally hit by a teammate. Pierce was whistled for a technical foul.

"(Miami's) Voshon (Lenard) and I were exchanging words a little bit," Pierce said. "He put his shoulder into me. He shouldn't have. I got a little upset and the referee must have thought I bumped him, I guess."

That set off Pitino, who was slapped with a pair of technicals and ejected after going nose-to-nose with referee Joe Forte. The coach hinted that Forte may have made contact with him.

"My views were different from the referee on Paul's technical," Pitino said. "I won't hold it agint him if he bumped me. I've taken a lot of charges at UMass. It's no big deal."

Assistant Jim O'Brien coached the Celtics for the rest of the game.

"I knew what I was doing the whole time," Pitino said of the ejection. "I was fully aware of what was going on. Jim O'Brien has been with me for many years and I've got the utmost confidence in him and the rest of the coaching staff."

Pierce tied Larry Bird's team record for steals set in 1985 as the Celtics held off several Miami runs to snap a three-game losing streak and avoid falling under .500 for the first time this season.

"I don't know if I'm going to break any more records or set any more records," he said. "I didn't think Larry Bird had nine steals in a game."

Lenard scored 23 points off the bench and Alonzo Mourning added 21 for the Heat, who had a four-game winning streak snapped and have lost four of their last five meetings with the Celtics.

"We hung around long enough but you can't overcome, on the road, against a rested and practiced team," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "Too many missed shots, too many turnovers, too many mistakes."

Boston avenged a 110-92 loss in Miami at November 20, opening its biggest lead at 95-77 on Antoine Walker's foul shot with 1:31 remaining.

"I don't think there is a rivalry with Boston, at least I don't consider them to be our rival," Miami's P.J. Brown said. "They were just a team that played with great intensity tonight."

Riley also was not happy about the officials, feeling they called the game too tightly in the paint.

"I don't understand what the league is doing right now with their interpretation of the new rules for big people in the paint," Riley said. "All I can say is tonight it really hurt us because P,.J. and Alonzo had two fouls each in the first five or six minutes."

The Celtics started strong and did not trail after the Heat grabbed a 7-5 lead on Jamal Mashburn's driving layup with 8:53 remaining in the first quarter. Mashburn had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

But Boston ripped off a 14-1 run to build a 19-8 cushion on Pierce's dunk with 4:27 to play in the period.

After Miami tied it at 23-23 early in the second quarter, the Celtics took control, opening a 43-31 lead on Pierce's 3-point play with 2:37 left in the half.

The Heat made another run, closing to 45-42 on Mourning's jumper 35 seconds into the third quarter. Once again, the Celtics responded and went up 58-48 on Pierce's 3-pointer with 7:25 left in the period.

"It was a great win for us tonight, with an outstanding defensive effort," Pitino said. "We had to take it too them in the low post and we did that. We just did an outstanding job of playing the defensive game tonight. We caused turnovers, that's what we wanted to do."

The lead stayed between seven and 10 before the Heat closed to 81-74 on Mourning's two foul shots with 5:30 to play. Boston, which has had problems holding onto fourth-quarter leads this season, put away the contest with a 14-3 burst.

Vitaly Potapenko added 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting for the Celtics, who shot 46 percent (35-of-77) from the field and converted 19 Heat turnovers into 22 points. Miami shot 45 percent (33-of-74) and made just 12-of-24 from the line.

"We had our chances in the fourth but missed our free throws," Mourning said. "It really boils down to that."

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