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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- UTAH 20 30 27 22 99 BOSTON 21 33 26 23 103 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: UTH - GREG OSTERTAG 18, BRYON RUSSELL 17, KARL MALONE 17 BOS - PAUL PIERCE 30, ANTOINE WALKER 26, BRYANT STITH 14

HIGH REBOUND: UTH - GREG OSTERTAG 10, OLDEN POLYNICE 7 BOS - VITALY POTAPENKO 9, ANTOINE WALKER 7

HIGH ASSISTS: UTH - JOHN STOCKTON 9, BRYON RUSSELL 5 BOS - FOUR PLAYERS WITH 4

ATT: 18,624


Extended Box

UTAH (99) AT BOSTON (103)

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

MALONE F 37 7-15 3-7 2 3 5 4 4 0 2 17 MARSHALL F 32 5-11 2-2 3 3 6 1 2 1 3 12 POLYNICE C 16 2-4 0-0 2 5 7 1 3 0 2 4 STARKS G 16 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 1 3 2 1 2 STOCKTON G 33 3-10 5-5 1 5 6 9 6 3 4 12 RUSSELL 34 6-9 5-6 1 3 4 5 4 1 4 17 VAUGHN 15 2-4 2-2 0 3 3 1 0 0 0 8 MANNING 13 2-6 3-3 0 3 3 4 3 0 0 7 OSTERTAG 29 8-12 2-2 6 4 10 0 3 0 1 18 D BENOIT 15 0-5 2-2 1 1 2 3 2 1 1 2 CROTTY DNP - COACH'S DECISION PADGETT DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 36-79 24-29 16 32 48 29 30 8 18 99 (.456) (.828) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 18(27 PTS)

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

WALKER F 41 10-20 0-4 3 4 7 4 3 1 2 26 PIERCE F 32 6-19 18-19 0 6 6 4 5 3 3 30 BLOUNT C 20 2-3 0-2 4 2 6 0 5 1 1 4 BROWN G 20 1-4 2-2 0 1 1 4 1 1 1 4 STITH G 33 4-10 5-5 0 3 3 3 2 0 2 14 PALACIO 29 3-6 2-2 0 3 3 4 2 2 2 8 E WILLIAMS 31 3-5 0-0 0 1 1 2 1 2 0 9 POTAPENKO 27 4-9 0-0 5 4 9 0 4 0 0 8 CARR 6 0-3 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 MCCARTY 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 GRIFFIN DNP - COACH'S DECISION HERREN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 33-79 27-34 12 24 36 22 23 10 12 103 (.418) (.794) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 12(15 PTS)

UTAH 20 30 27 22 - 99 BOSTON 21 33 26 23 - 103

BLOCKED SHOTS: UTAH - OSTERTAG 4, RUSSELL, STOCKTON. BOSTON - BLOUNT, STITH, POTAPENKO. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: UTAH 3-12 (.250), MARSHALL 0-2, STOCKTON 1-3, RUSSELL 0-3, VAUGHN 2-3, MANNING 0-1. BOSTON 10-24 (.417), WALKER 6-9, PIERCE 0-4, BROWN 0-1, STITH 1-4, PALACIO 0-1, E WILLIAMS 3-4, CARR 0-1. TECHNICALS: UTAH - MALONE, OSTERTAG, BOSTON - ILLEGAL DEFENSE 3, POTAPENKO. OFFICIALS: DON VADEN, GEORGE TOLIVER, BILL KENNEDY. A - 18,624. T - 2:21.


Box Score

UTAH (99) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Malone 37 7-15 3-7 2-5 4 4 17 Marshall 32 5-11 2-2 3-6 1 2 12 Polynice 16 2-4 0-0 2-7 1 3 4 Starks 16 1-3 0-0 0-2 1 3 2 Stockton 33 3-10 5-5 1-6 9 6 12 Russell 34 6-9 5-6 1-4 5 4 17 Vaughn 15 2-4 2-2 0-3 1 0 8 Manning 13 2-6 3-3 0-3 4 3 7 Ostertag 29 8-12 2-2 6-10 0 3 18 D Benoit 15 0-5 2-2 1-2 3 2 2 Crotty DNP - coach's decision Padgett DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-79 24-29 16-48 29 30 99 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.456, FT-.828. 3-Point Goals: 3-12, .250 (Marshall 0-2, Stockton 1-3, Russell 0-3, Vaughn 2-3, Manning 0-1). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 6 (Ostertag 4, Russell, Stockton). Turnovers: 18 (Russell 4, Stockton 4, Marshall 3, Malone 2, Polynice 2, D Benoit, Ostertag, Starks). Steals: 8 (Stockton 3, Starks 2, D Benoit, Marshall, Russell).

BOSTON (103) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Walker 41 10-20 0-4 3-7 4 3 26 Pierce 32 6-19 18-19 0-6 4 5 30 Blount 20 2-3 0-2 4-6 0 5 4 Brown 20 1-4 2-2 0-1 4 1 4 Stith 33 4-10 5-5 0-3 3 2 14 Palacio 29 3-6 2-2 0-3 4 2 8 E Williams 31 3-5 0-0 0-1 2 1 9 Potapenko 27 4-9 0-0 5-9 0 4 8 Carr 6 0-3 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 Mccarty 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Griffin DNP - coach's decision Herren DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-79 27-34 12-36 22 23 103 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.418, FT-.794. 3-Point Goals: 10-24, .417 (Walker 6-9, Pierce 0-4, Brown 0-1, Stith 1-4, Palacio 0-1, E Williams 3-4, Carr 0-1). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 3 (Blount, Stith, Potapenko). Turnovers: 12 (Pierce 3, Palacio 2, Stith 2, Walker 2, Blount, Brown, Carr). Steals: 10 (Pierce 3, E Williams 2, Palacio 2, Blount, Brown, Walker). ____________________________________________ Utah 20 30 27 22 - 99 Boston 21 33 26 23 - 103 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Utah 2 (Malone, 2:27 2nd; Ostertag, 9:39 4th). Boston 4 (Illegal Defense 3, 7:44 3rd, 4:47 3rd, 2:44 3rd; Potapenko, 9:39 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,624. T: 2:21. Officials: Don Vaden, George Toliver, Bill Kennedy.


Game Story

BOSTON (Ticker) -- A buzz from a Boston crowd has been about as infrequent as a win over the Utah Jazz.

But the Celtics bucked both trends, getting 30 points from Paul Pierce and snapping a seven-game home losing streak against the Jazz with a 103-99 victory.

Antoine Walker added 26 points for Boston, which moved within 1 1/2 games of Indiana for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot with 23 remaining.

"This is a big win for us," Walker said. "We're keeping right in the playoff race. We can hope for teams to lose, but we really have to take control of our own destiny."

Without a postseason appearance since 1995, the Celtics have not had much support from the home crowd. But they have won a franchise-record seven straight games at the FleetCenter, which rocked down the stretch against the Jazz.

"It was a great atmosphere," Pierce said. "I don't know what it feels like to play playoff basketball. But I would think it is something like it was out there tonight.

"That is something you feed off of and it gets the adrenaline going and it's just really exciting."

Pierce had 22 points in the second half, helping Boston to its second win in the last 17 meetings with Utah, which ran away in a 114-99 home rout on February 19.

The Celtics led over the final 8:17, after Eric Williams hit a 3-pointer for an 85-83 edge. The Jazz went scoreless between Bryon Russell's jumper with 9:07 left and Karl Malone's layup with 5:58 to play.

"They wanted the ballgame more than we did and we couldn't handle their traps or double-team," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said.

Utah still trailed by just two on Malone's basket and closed within 91-90, on a layup by Greg Ostertag with 3:31 remaining.

But Malone missed a potential go-ahead jumper and John Stockton was called for an offensive foul when he lowered his right shoulder on Pierce in the right corner.

Pierce was fouled again on a drive to the basket and hit both free throws for a 93-90 lead. But Russell hit a tough baseline jumper to get the Jazz within 93-92 with 1:39 to play.

That's as close as Utah got.

Pierce hit a floater on a tough baseline drive for a three-point lead.

The Jazz still had chances. Russell sank a free throw and ended up with the rebound after missing his second attempt, but Stockton missed a jumper, Ostertag failed on a follow attempt and Malone went over Walker's back on the rebound.

Walker missed both free throws, but Malone was off on a jumper from the foul line and Pierce grabbed the board as the FleetCenter crowd anticipated victory.

"We had the opportunities to take this game but couldn't take advantage of them," Malone said. "Boston played hard and took the game to us and deserved the win."

Pierce dropped a pair of free throws and sank two more after Stockton missed a 3-point attempt, giving the Celtics a 99-93 lead with 15.9 seconds to play.

While leading the team in scoring for the fifth time in six games, Pierce went 18-of-19 from the free-throw line. Boston was 27-of-34 as a team.

The Celtics shot just 42 percent (33-of-79) from the field but turned 18 Utah turnovers into 25 points. Stockton and Russell had four turnovers apiece.

"Eightteen turnovers is not a good thing, and they forced most of those turnovers," Sloan said. "It's a credit to them."

Ostertag had 18 points and 10 rebounds, but the Jazz failed to capitalize on one of his best games of the season, losing for just the fifth time in their last 24 games.

Malone and Russell added 17 points apiece for Utah (39-18), which dipped below idle Portland (41-18) for the best record in the Western Conference.

"They're a tough team," Walker said. "They consistently win, year in and year out. Malone and Stockton are great leaders and it doesn't matter who they plug into that system."

The Jazz had a pair of three-point leads, the last of which came 3:59 before halftime. But Pierce scored four points during an 11-0 run that gave the Celtics their biggest lead, 50-42, with 2:04 left in the half.

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