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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- BOSTON 25 24 31 24 104 DALLAS 24 23 25 27 99 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: BOS - ANTOINE WALKER 29, ERIC WILLIAMS 18, PAUL PIERCE 15 DAL - MICHAEL FINLEY 28, GREG BUCKNER 25, DIRK NOWITZKI 21

HIGH REBOUND: BOS - ANTOINE WALKER 10, TONY BATTIE 10 DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 11, SHAWN BRADLEY 8

HIGH ASSISTS: BOS - ANTOINE WALKER 6, KENNY ANDERSON 5 DAL - STEVE NASH 6, ERICK STRICKLAND 6

ATT: 17,102


Extended Box

BOSTON (104) AT DALLAS (99)

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

PIERCE F 30 6-12 2-3 0 3 3 1 4 2 1 15 WALKER F 35 10-15 5-7 1 9 10 6 3 1 3 29 POTAPENKO C 22 3-7 3-3 5 0 5 1 3 1 2 9 ANDERSON G 29 3-9 0-0 1 3 4 5 3 1 4 7 CHEANEY G 13 3-4 0-1 0 2 2 0 2 0 0 7 GRIFFIN 23 0-5 0-0 2 0 2 1 0 1 1 0 BATTIE 30 4-7 0-0 2 8 10 1 3 0 1 8 BARROS 21 5-10 0-0 0 3 3 1 2 0 1 11 FORTSON 9 0-2 0-0 2 3 5 0 3 0 3 0 E WILLIAMS 28 6-10 6-7 1 2 3 1 3 0 0 18 ELLISON DNP - COACH'S DECISION OVERTON DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 40-81 16-21 14 33 47 17 26 6 16 104 (.494) (.762) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 17(23 PTS)

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

BUCKNER F 32 9-12 2-2 1 3 4 2 3 1 1 25 FINLEY F 45 12-24 2-2 0 6 6 5 1 2 4 28 NOWITZKI C 42 7-17 7-11 4 7 11 2 2 1 2 21 NASH G 33 1-6 0-0 1 3 4 6 1 0 0 2 STRICKLAND G 34 4-14 1-2 1 1 2 6 4 2 1 9 CEBALLOS 15 3-8 2-2 1 2 3 0 2 0 0 8 BRADLEY 20 1-4 2-2 3 5 8 0 5 0 2 4 PACK 7 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 ROOKS 12 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 DAVIS DNP - COACH'S DECISION JONES DNP - COACH'S DECISION SUNDOV DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 38-87 16-21 11 29 40 22 19 7 10 99 (.437) (.762) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 11(11 PTS)

BOSTON 25 24 31 24 - 104 DALLAS 24 23 25 27 - 99

BLOCKED SHOTS: BOSTON - PIERCE 3, BATTIE, BARROS, E WILLIAMS. DALLAS - BRADLEY 3. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: BOSTON 8-17 (.471), PIERCE 1-3, WALKER 4-7, ANDERSON 1-1, CHEANEY 1-2, BATTIE 0-1, BARROS 1-2, E WILLIAMS 0-1. DALLAS 7-22 (.318), BUCKNER 5-6, FINLEY 2-6, NOWITZKI 0-5, NASH 0-3, STRICKLAND 0-2. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JOE FORTE, MONTY MCCUTCHEN, HANK ARMSTRONG. A - 17,102. T - 2:13.


Box Score

BOSTON (104) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pierce 30 6-12 2-3 0-3 1 4 15 Walker 35 10-15 5-7 1-10 6 3 29 Potapenko 22 3-7 3-3 5-5 1 3 9 Anderson 29 3-9 0-0 1-4 5 3 7 Cheaney 13 3-4 0-1 0-2 0 2 7 Griffin 23 0-5 0-0 2-2 1 0 0 Battie 30 4-7 0-0 2-10 1 3 8 Barros 21 5-10 0-0 0-3 1 2 11 Fortson 9 0-2 0-0 2-5 0 3 0 E Williams 28 6-10 6-7 1-3 1 3 18 Ellison DNP - coach's decision Overton DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 40-81 16-21 14-47 17 26 104 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.494, FT-.762. 3-Point Goals: 8-17, .471 (Pierce 1-3, Walker 4-7, Anderson 1-1, Cheaney 1-2, Battie 0-1, Barros 1-2, E Williams 0-1). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 6 (Pierce 3, Battie, Barros, E Williams). Turnovers: 17 (Anderson 4, Fortson 3, Walker 3, Potapenko 2, Barros, Battie, Griffin, Pierce). Steals: 6 (Pierce 2, Anderson, Griffin, Potapenko, Walker).

DALLAS (99) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Buckner 32 9-12 2-2 1-4 2 3 25 Finley 45 12-24 2-2 0-6 5 1 28 Nowitzki 42 7-17 7-11 4-11 2 2 21 Nash 33 1-6 0-0 1-4 6 1 2 Strickland 34 4-14 1-2 1-2 6 4 9 Ceballos 15 3-8 2-2 1-3 0 2 8 Bradley 20 1-4 2-2 3-8 0 5 4 Pack 7 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 Rooks 12 0-0 0-0 0-2 1 1 0 Davis DNP - coach's decision Jones DNP - coach's decision Sundov DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 38-87 16-21 11-40 22 19 99 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.437, FT-.762. 3-Point Goals: 7-22, .318 (Buckner 5-6, Finley 2-6, Nowitzki 0-5, Nash 0-3, Strickland 0-2). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 3 (Bradley 3). Turnovers: 11 (Finley 4, Bradley 2, Nowitzki 2, Buckner, Strickland). Steals: 7 (Finley 2, Strickland 2, Buckner, Nowitzki, Pack). ____________________________________________ Boston 25 24 31 24 - 104 Dallas 24 23 25 27 - 99 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 17,102. T: 2:13. Officials: Joe Forte, Monty Mccutchen, Hank Armstrong.


Game Story

DALLAS (Ticker) -- Paul Pierce scored four of his 15 points in the final 19 seconds, helping the Boston Celtics hold off the Dallas Mavericks, 104-99, for their seventh victory in eight games.

Boston led most of the game but Dallas made a late surge to get within 99-96 before Pierce hit a jumper from the left side to give the Celtics a 101-96 lead.

Rookie Greg Buckner answered for Dallas, drilling a 3-pointer with 9.8 seconds to play. But when the Mavericks fouled Pierce with 8.3 seconds left, the swingman hit both free throws to ice the game.

"He's a great player," Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said of Pierce. "He made two good plays at the end of the game and that's it."

The victory lifted the Celtics (30-36) within one game of Milwaukee and Orlando for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

"The major thing is that we took care (of business)," Boston coach Rick Pitino said. "We are definitely scoreboard watching, I wouldn't lie to you. But the major thing is that we had to get this win tonight. It gets a lot tougher with each game, as the pressure mounts, but I think that's great for us."

Antoine Walker led Boston with 29 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Eric Williams added 10 points as the Celtics avenged a 108-100 home loss to Dallas on February 29 in which they blew a 20-point third-quarter lead.

"(Walker) was wonderful because he keeps passing the basketball," Pitino said. "He is such a weapon right now that he's playing like one of the premier players in the game and we're very excited about it. He's passing the ball so much that everybody is involved. They know that if they throw it in to him and they cut and move, they're going to get the ball back."

Michael Finley scored 29 points, Buckner a season-high 25 and Dirk Nowitzki 21 and 11 rebounds for the Mavericks, who had their winning streak snapped at three games.

"I wouldn't say we shouldn't have had this game," Dallas coach Don Nelson said. "We had two hot teams playing each other tonight. They were better than we were. I thought they were better most of the game. We scratched and hung on and did our best. They're playing extremely well. They beat a good team tonight. A game like this, I can take a loss."

Neither team led by more than five points in the first quarter, which ended with Boston holding a 25-24 lead. The Celtics built a 44-34 edge midway through the second period but the Mavs fought within 49-47 at the half.

The Celtics had pushed their lead back to 98-87 when Walker made a layup with 3:38 left.

Dallas made one last run. Finley hit a pair of free throws, Nowitzki hit 1-of-2 from the line and Steve Nash hit a jumper. When Nowitzki again hit a free throw, the Mavericks were within 98-93 with 1:35 to play.

Walker was fouled but made just 1-of-2 and Finley connected from long range to cut the deficit to 99-96 with 59 seconds to play. But Pierce and the Celtics blunted the drive.

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