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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- CHICAGO 27 24 34 19 104 BOSTON 24 20 28 14 86 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: CHI - RON MERCER 27, RON ARTEST 19, ELTON BRAND 18 BOS - ANTOINE WALKER 15, BRYANT STITH 13, TONY BATTIE 12

HIGH REBOUND: CHI - RON ARTEST 10, ELTON BRAND 5 BOS - TONY BATTIE 7, TWO PLAYERS WITH 5

HIGH ASSISTS: CHI - RON MERCER 6, RON ARTEST 5 BOS - FOUR PLAYERS WITH 3

ATT: 13,529


Extended Box

CHICAGO (104) AT BOSTON (86)

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

ARTEST F 32 7-14 4-9 5 5 10 5 3 3 1 19 C BENJAMIN F 24 3-6 0-0 0 2 2 3 4 0 1 8 BRAND C 37 5-8 8-9 3 2 5 2 1 1 3 18 EL AMIN G 27 2-5 6-6 0 2 2 4 2 1 2 10 MERCER G 43 12-23 3-3 2 1 3 6 3 7 2 27 CRAWFORD 21 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 2 4 3 FIZER 20 3-9 3-3 0 4 4 1 2 0 1 9 HOIBERG 22 3-5 2-3 0 4 4 1 4 2 4 10 TARLAC 5 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 RUFFIN 7 0-1 0-2 2 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 BAGARIC 2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 VOSKUHL DNP - TENDINITIS LEFT FOOT

TOTALS 240 36-74 26-35 12 23 35 22 23 16 18 104 (.486) (.743) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 21(21 PTS)

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

PIERCE F 31 0-7 9-10 0 4 4 3 3 2 4 9 WALKER F 28 5-11 4-4 0 2 2 3 4 0 6 15 BATTIE C 30 5-7 2-2 2 5 7 0 5 1 1 12 ANDERSON G 23 2-5 0-0 0 3 3 1 1 2 1 4 STITH G 40 6-13 0-0 2 3 5 1 2 3 4 13 BROWN 14 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 3 3 0 3 2 MOISO 12 1-2 1-4 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 3 POTAPENKO 11 2-5 0-0 2 2 4 1 3 0 0 4 E WILLIAMS 19 2-8 6-6 1 4 5 3 2 1 2 10 MCCARTY 14 2-3 2-2 1 1 2 2 4 0 1 7 PALACIO 11 2-2 1-1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 5 GRIFFIN 7 1-1 0-0 1 1 2 0 1 1 1 2

TOTALS 240 29-66 25-29 9 27 36 17 30 10 26 86 (.439) (.862) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 26(33 PTS)

CHICAGO 27 24 34 19 - 104 BOSTON 24 20 28 14 - 86

BLOCKED SHOTS: CHICAGO - MERCER, C BENJAMIN, CRAWFORD. BOSTON - BATTIE 3. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: CHICAGO 6-11 (.545), ARTEST 1-1, C BENJAMIN 2-3, EL AMIN 0-1, MERCER 0-1, CRAWFORD 1-1, HOIBERG 2-4. BOSTON 3-14 (.214), PIERCE 0-2, WALKER 1-4, STITH 1-5, E WILLIAMS 0-1, MCCARTY 1-2. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JACK NIES, TIM DONAGHY, (JAMES CAPERS. A - 13,529. T - 2:16.


Box Score

CHICAGO (104) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Artest 32 7-14 4-9 5-10 5 3 19 C Benjamin 24 3-6 0-0 0-2 3 4 8 Brand 37 5-8 8-9 3-5 2 1 18 El Amin 27 2-5 6-6 0-2 4 2 10 Mercer 43 12-23 3-3 2-3 6 3 27 Crawford 21 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 2 3 Fizer 20 3-9 3-3 0-4 1 2 9 Hoiberg 22 3-5 2-3 0-4 1 4 10 Tarlac 5 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 Ruffin 7 0-1 0-2 2-2 0 1 0 Bagaric 2 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 Voskuhl DNP - tendinitis left foot _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-74 26-35 12-35 22 23 104 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.486, FT-.743. 3-Point Goals: 6-11, .545 (Artest 1-1, C Benjamin 2-3, El Amin 0-1, Mercer 0-1, Crawford 1-1, Hoiberg 2-4). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 3 (Mercer, C Benjamin, Crawford). Turnovers: 21 (Crawford 4, Hoiberg 4, Brand 3, El Amin 2, Mercer 2, Artest, C Benjamin, Fizer). Steals: 16 (Mercer 7, Artest 3, Crawford 2, Hoiberg 2, Brand, El Amin).

BOSTON (86) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pierce 31 0-7 9-10 0-4 3 3 9 Walker 28 5-11 4-4 0-2 3 4 15 Battie 30 5-7 2-2 2-7 0 5 12 Anderson 23 2-5 0-0 0-3 1 1 4 Stith 40 6-13 0-0 2-5 1 2 13 Brown 14 1-2 0-0 0-1 3 3 2 Moiso 12 1-2 1-4 0-1 0 1 3 Potapenko 11 2-5 0-0 2-4 1 3 4 E Williams 19 2-8 6-6 1-5 3 2 10 Mccarty 14 2-3 2-2 1-2 2 4 7 Palacio 11 2-2 1-1 0-0 0 1 5 Griffin 7 1-1 0-0 1-2 0 1 2 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-66 25-29 9-36 17 30 86 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.439, FT-.862. 3-Point Goals: 3-14, .214 (Pierce 0-2, Walker 1-4, Stith 1-5, E Williams 0-1, Mccarty 1-2). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 3 (Battie 3). Turnovers: 26 (Walker 6, Pierce 4, Stith 4, Brown 3, E Williams 2, Palacio 2, Anderson, Battie, Griffin, Mccarty, Moiso). Steals: 10 (Stith 3, Anderson 2, Pierce 2, Battie, E Williams, Griffin). ____________________________________________ Chicago 27 24 34 19 - 104 Boston 24 20 28 14 - 86 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: Boston 1 (Battie, 8:44 4th). A: 13,529. T: 2:16. Officials: Jack Nies, Tim Donaghy, (james Capers.


Game Story

BOSTON (Ticker) -- Boston Celtics coach Rick Pitino is going to have to try another motivational technique to get his team to improve its defense.

The Celtics allowed the lowly Chicago Bulls to surpass the century mark for the first time this season and suffered an embarrassing 104-86 loss that rates as one of the low points of Pitino's three-plus seasons in Boston.

Ron Mercer scored 27 points against his former club as the league-worst Bulls won for just the third time in 22 games this season. Chicago snapped a six-game losing streak and improved to just 2-11 on the road.

It was the most lopsided win for the Bulls in the Tim Floyd era, eclipsing a 94-77 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on February 27, 1999. Chicago has scored more than 100 points in nine of 154 games under Floyd.

"You're happy with any win when you've only got two," Floyd said. "I didn't know it was my biggest win, but that's not really the most important thing. The most important thing is watching a young team develop and that's what we got here. I was very pleased with our all-around performance tonight."

Last month, Pitino threatened to quit if the Celtics did not play better defense and those problems surfaced again tonight.

The crowd at the FleetCenter began booing the Celtics midway through the third quarter and Pitino said the jeers were well-earned.

"For the first time since I've been here during a timeout, I told the team, `Listen to the boos, we deserve it,'" he said. "Normally, I don't think booing is very helpful but tonight, players and coaches all the way down, we deserved it for that kind of performance."

The worst shooting team in the NBA, the Bulls shot 49 percent (36-of-74) from the field, breaking open the game with an 11-0 spurt early in the fourth period.

With Boston scoring just two points in the first six minutes of the final quarter, Chicago built a 98-74 lead on rookie Marcus Fizer's layup with 7:12 to play. At that point, Pitino yanked his starters.

"Last couple times I've come into this town, I've had some really bad breaks," said Mercer, who suffered injuries in his previous two games at the FleetCenter. "Coming here and finally having a great game feels real good, sweet. I have no bad feelings for that other team (Celtics)."

The Bulls' previous best output this season came in a 104-96 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on November 19. Chicago led 85-72 after three quarters, a total it has not surpassed in 12 games this season.

The Bulls came into the game averaging just 82.9 points and shooting 39.9 percent while being outscored by an average of 13.4 points, all league-low figures.

"We played our best overall game (of the season)," Mercer said. "The difference tonight we played for 48 minutes instead of one or two quarters."

Antoine Walker scored 15 points for the Celtics, whose last lead came with nine minutes remaining in the first quarter. Chicago converted 26 turnovers by Boston into 33 points.

Ron Artest scored 19 points and Elton Brand added 18 for the Bulls. Mercer (12-of-23) and Artest (7-for-14) were a combined 19-of-37 from the field.

Paul Pierce, Boston's leading scorer at 23.9 points per game, typified the Celtics' woes. He was held to just nine, missing all seven of his shots from the field. Bryant Stith scored 13 and Tony Battie added 12 for Boston.

"I'm shocked by how badly we played," Pierce said. "I don't know. Maybe it's too late to teach a team like ours to be tough but we certainly weren't tough tonight. We made it real easy for Chicago. This isn't a team we should be losing to at home."

Yet Walker seemed to be not too concerned about the one-sided setback.

"It's just another loss," Walker said. "We're disappointed. We should have played better but this is the NBA. Teams like Chicago look at us with only nine wins and see it's an opportunity. They took advantage of that opportunity and that's why they won."

Pitino, however, suggested the Celtics cannot afford to take anyone lightly.

"We have to work hard to beat teams like Chicago and Vancouver," he said. "I was disappointed and very upset with many aspects of our game tonight. Offense, defense, transition, all around. I thought the game was really decided in the first seven to 10 minutes. They (Bulls) brought energy and desire to the game. We did not."

After Artest's jumper gave Chicago a 59-46 lead with 10:06 left in the third quarter, Walker provided the Celtics a brief spark, scoring seven straight points.

His 3-pointer pulled Boston within 59-53 with 8:35 to go in the period but the Celtics got no closer. Mercer's three-point play gave the Bulls an 85-68 cushion with 1:14 left, effectively putting away the contest.

"This is a great win for us because it shows we can play an entire game, not just in spurts," Chicago guard Fred Hoiberg said. "Our transition defense tonight was huge. It led to so many easy baskets."

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