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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PHILADELPHIA 21 17 19 20 77 BOSTON 31 21 21 20 93 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: PHI - ALLEN IVERSON 21, ERIC SNOW 18, GEORGE LYNCH 11 BOS - PAUL PIERCE 29, ANTOINE WALKER 25, TONY BATTIE 11

HIGH REBOUND: PHI - MATT GEIGER 13, TWO PLAYERS WITH 7 BOS - ANTOINE WALKER 13, TONY BATTIE 11

HIGH ASSISTS: PHI - ALLEN IVERSON 5, ERIC SNOW 4 BOS - KENNY ANDERSON 7, ANTOINE WALKER 5

ATT: 18,624


Extended Box

PHILADELPHIA (77) AT BOSTON (93)

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

LYNCH F 37 4-10 2-6 1 6 7 0 4 0 3 11 RATLIFF F 32 3-5 0-0 2 5 7 0 5 0 4 6 GEIGER C 31 1-8 5-6 3 10 13 1 3 0 2 7 IVERSON G 41 8-18 5-7 0 4 4 5 0 2 6 21 SNOW G 36 9-13 0-2 0 4 4 4 5 3 2 18 KUKOC 25 3-6 0-0 0 3 3 2 4 1 2 6 MCKIE 21 1-8 2-4 1 1 2 1 1 2 3 5 BOWMAN 3 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 OLLIE 8 0-1 1-4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 MACCULLOCH 3 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 JONES 3 1-3 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 2 MOHAMMED DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 30-73 15-29 8 36 44 14 23 8 24 77 (.411) (.517) TEAM REBS: 16 TOTAL TO: 25(31 PTS)

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

PIERCE F 39 9-19 11-12 1 5 6 4 4 3 5 29 WALKER F 40 10-23 5-6 5 8 13 5 3 2 2 25 POTAPENKO C 14 2-5 0-0 3 0 3 0 0 1 1 4 ANDERSON G 15 1-5 1-1 0 1 1 7 6 3 1 3 CHEANEY G 35 4-10 1-1 0 1 1 0 2 1 2 9 BARROS 14 2-5 0-0 1 0 1 2 4 0 0 4 BATTIE 26 5-8 1-4 4 7 11 1 2 0 2 11 GRIFFIN 13 0-3 0-0 1 4 5 1 4 2 0 0 E WILLIAMS 10 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 1 0 0 OVERTON 19 1-11 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 3 FORTSON 15 2-2 1-1 2 4 6 0 3 1 2 5 ELLISON DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 36-93 20-25 17 33 50 21 29 14 15 93 (.387) (.800) TEAM REBS: 9 TOTAL TO: 15(18 PTS)

PHILADELPHIA 21 17 19 20 - 77 BOSTON 31 21 21 20 - 93

BLOCKED SHOTS: PHILADELPHIA - RATLIFF 4, GEIGER, LYNCH. BOSTON - BATTIE 5, PIERCE, CHEANEY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PHILADELPHIA 2-6 (.333), LYNCH 1-1, IVERSON 0-1, KUKOC 0-2, MCKIE 1-2. BOSTON 1-15 (.067), PIERCE 0-5, WALKER 0-3, CHEANEY 0-1, BARROS 0-1, E WILLIAMS 0-1, OVERTON 1-4. TECHNICALS: PHILADELPHIA - IVERSON. OFFICIALS: STEVE JAVIE, DAVID JONES, TOMMIE WOOD. A - 18,624. T - 2:27.


Box Score

PHILADELPHIA (77) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Lynch 37 4-10 2-6 1-7 0 4 11 Ratliff 32 3-5 0-0 2-7 0 5 6 Geiger 31 1-8 5-6 3-13 1 3 7 Iverson 41 8-18 5-7 0-4 5 0 21 Snow 36 9-13 0-2 0-4 4 5 18 Kukoc 25 3-6 0-0 0-3 2 4 6 Mckie 21 1-8 2-4 1-2 1 1 5 Bowman 3 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 Ollie 8 0-1 1-4 0-0 1 0 1 Macculloch 3 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 Jones 3 1-3 0-0 1-2 0 0 2 Mohammed DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 30-73 15-29 8-44 14 23 77 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.411, FT-.517. 3-Point Goals: 2-6, .333 (Lynch 1-1, Iverson 0-1, Kukoc 0-2, Mckie 1-2). Team rebounds: 16. Blocked shots: 6 (Ratliff 4, Geiger, Lynch). Turnovers: 25 (Iverson 6, Ratliff 4, Lynch 3, Mckie 3, Geiger 2, Kukoc 2, Snow 2, Bowman, Macculloch). Steals: 8 (Snow 3, Iverson 2, Mckie 2, Kukoc).

BOSTON (93) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pierce 39 9-19 11-12 1-6 4 4 29 Walker 40 10-23 5-6 5-13 5 3 25 Potapenko 14 2-5 0-0 3-3 0 0 4 Anderson 15 1-5 1-1 0-1 7 6 3 Cheaney 35 4-10 1-1 0-1 0 2 9 Barros 14 2-5 0-0 1-1 2 4 4 Battie 26 5-8 1-4 4-11 1 2 11 Griffin 13 0-3 0-0 1-5 1 4 0 E Williams 10 0-2 0-0 0-2 1 0 0 Overton 19 1-11 0-0 0-1 0 1 3 Fortson 15 2-2 1-1 2-6 0 3 5 Ellison DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-93 20-25 17-50 21 29 93 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.387, FT-.800. 3-Point Goals: 1-15, .067 (Pierce 0-5, Walker 0-3, Cheaney 0-1, Barros 0-1, E Williams 0-1, Overton 1-4). Team rebounds: 9. Blocked shots: 7 (Battie 5, Pierce, Cheaney). Turnovers: 15 (Pierce 5, Battie 2, Cheaney 2, Fortson 2, Walker 2, Anderson, Potapenko). Steals: 14 (Anderson 3, Pierce 3, Griffin 2, Walker 2, Cheaney, E Williams, Fortson, Potapenko). ____________________________________________ Philadelphia 21 17 19 20 - 77 Boston 31 21 21 20 - 93 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Philadelphia 1 (Iverson, 4:50 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,624. T: 2:27. Officials: Steve Javie, David Jones, Tommie Wood.


Game Story

BOSTON (Ticker) -- Coach Rick Pitino's tirade against the Boston fans and media is as distant a memory as the Celtics' troubles.

Trying to stay alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race, the Celtics ripped the Philadelphia 76ers, 93-77, and matched a season high with their fourth straight victory.

Antoine Walker overcame a right foot sprain in the first minute of the game to score 16 of his 25 points in the first half for Boston, which improved to 4-1 since Pitino accused the fans and media of being too negative. Walker suffered the injury in the first quarter but returned after a short absence.

"There's a lot of pain, but I just wanted to suck it up and play through it," said Walker, who was receiving treatment on his foot after the game. "These are games we need. We're in a playoff hunt and I knew that we'd need the offense and that's what I tried to give us today."

When Walker twisted his ankle and fell to the floor, Pitino feared the worst.

"The thing with Antoine was a little scary because I thought it would be something similiar to what Danny (Fortson) had -- a stress fracture -- but he told us he was OK, and he just played tough the whole game," Pitino said. "Antoine has shown me a lot recently about the kind of leader he is."

The Celtics completed a 4-0 homestand and closed within three games of the Orlando Magic for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The teams play twice in the final month of the season, once in each city.

Paul Pierce scored 29 points and Walker added 15 rebounds for Boston, which jumped to a 6-0 lead and never trailed. The Celtics also won four in a row from January 15-21.

After falling into a 52-38 halftime hole, the 76ers closed to six midway through the third quarter. But the Celtics regained control and took a 73-57 cushion into the final period.

"This was another good performance for us because of the defense we played throughout, cutting off their back door off and taking care of the ball," Pitino said.

Allen Iverson scored 21 points for the Sixers, eight below his league-leading average. Eric Snow added 18 and George Lynch 11 for Philadelphia, which has lost two in a row following a season-high four-game winning streak.

Boston's press caused problems throughout as the Celtics converted 24 Philadelphia turnovers into 31 points. The Sixers turned 15 Boston giveaways into 18 points.

"Our defense wasn't very good," Philadelphia coach Larry Brown said. "I don't know why. We also obviously didn't take care of the ball. We never seemed to get into sync. They were responsible for a lot of it, but we didn't execute. We didn't have the intensity."

Snow called a 10-minute players-only meeting in the locker room following the game.

"All it was about was telling guys today was about defense," he said. "We didn't play any and we can't be playing like this down the stretch. We know that we're better than this and we can win games like this."

Boston shot only 39 percent from the field, but took 93 shots, 20 more than the Sixers. The Celtics made only 1-of-15 3-pointers, doing all their damage inside or in transition.

Matt Geiger had 13 rebounds for the Sixers, who were outrebounded, 50-44, and shot 41 percent (30-of-73).

"You don't play defense, you get your butts kicked," Iverson said. "That's what happened today. I don't have any answer right now, but this shouldn't be happening at this time of the season. But maybe it's good because it shows us what we have to do."

Pierce credited Calbert Cheaney and Doug Overton for their defense on Iverson.

"You have to look at what Calbert and Doug did today," he said. "They were a big reason we won. The bench kept the lead in double digits against their first team."

Walker scored 12 points in the first period, helping the Celtics race to a 31-21 lead. Boston stretched its lead to 41-24 on a driving layup by Barros with 7:08 remaining in the first half.

After Cheaney hit a 17-footer and Pierce dunked to extend the cushion to 56-38 in the first minute of the third period, the Sixers tried to climb back into the contest.

A jumper by Toni Kukoc, who was held to just six points, pulled the Sixers within 61-55 with 5:10 left in the third quarter. However, Boston reeled off six straight to go up 67-55 on a 3-pointer by former Sixer Overton with 3:28 left and never looked back.

Boston opened its biggest lead at 78-58 on Fortson's 3-point play with 9:43 to go. Philadelphia got no closer than 11 thereafter.

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