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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- BOSTON 26 34 35 18 113 NEW JERSEY 28 25 16 29 98 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: BOS - PAUL PIERCE 44, ANTOINE WALKER 29, VITALY POTAPENKO 13 NJN - KENYON MARTIN 22, KEITH VAN HORN 19, STEPHON MARBURY 17

HIGH REBOUND: BOS - ANTOINE WALKER 7, TWO PLAYERS WITH 6 NJN - KEITH VAN HORN 13, STEPHON MARBURY 7

HIGH ASSISTS: BOS - ANTOINE WALKER 8, MILT PALACIO 7 NJN - STEPHON MARBURY 11, DOUG OVERTON 4

ATT: 12,621


Extended Box

BOSTON (113) AT NEW JERSEY (98)

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

PIERCE F 38 15-26 10-10 0 6 6 1 3 0 1 44 WALKER F 40 10-23 3-3 1 6 7 8 2 3 3 29 BLOUNT C 13 1-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 2 BROWN G 24 1-5 0-0 0 1 1 5 4 1 0 2 STITH G 29 2-6 2-2 0 2 2 2 2 1 0 8 PALACIO 24 1-5 0-0 0 1 1 7 4 3 1 2 POTAPENKO 25 5-9 3-3 3 3 6 2 3 2 1 13 E WILLIAMS 19 2-8 1-2 1 1 2 1 2 1 0 6 MCCARTY 18 2-3 0-0 2 2 4 3 1 1 2 5 GRIFFIN 8 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 MOISO 2 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 HERREN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 40-88 19-20 7 24 31 30 21 12 9 113 (.455) (.950) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 9(6 PTS)

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

K MARTIN F 28 10-16 2-2 0 5 5 1 3 1 1 22 VAN HORN F 38 8-20 3-3 4 9 13 3 4 0 3 19 ESCHMEYER C 16 1-1 0-0 2 4 6 0 5 1 0 2 S MARBURY G 38 5-9 6-7 0 7 7 11 1 0 5 17 NEWMAN G 37 6-10 2-4 1 1 2 2 2 0 3 14 WILLIAMS 32 3-6 3-3 1 1 2 1 3 0 2 9 JACKSON 13 1-4 0-0 0 2 2 1 3 0 4 2 OVERTON 22 1-8 0-0 0 2 2 4 1 0 2 3 STEPANIA 12 3-5 2-2 2 2 4 0 0 0 1 8 SAMAKE 4 1-3 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 DOUGLAS DNP - RIGHT THUMB FRACTURE HARRIS DNP - PERSONAL REASONS

TOTALS 240 39-82 18-21 11 33 44 23 22 2 22 98 (.476) (.857) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 23(32 PTS)

BOSTON 26 34 35 18 - 113 NEW JERSEY 28 25 16 29 - 98

BLOCKED SHOTS: BOSTON - POTAPENKO 2, WALKER, PIERCE, GRIFFIN, BLOUNT. NEW JERSEY - WILLIAMS 4, K MARTIN, VAN HORN, ESCHMEYER. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: BOSTON 14-30 (.467), PIERCE 4-9, WALKER 6-10, STITH 2-5, PALACIO 0-2, E WILLIAMS 1-2, MCCARTY 1-1, MOISO 0-1. NEW JERSEY 2-15 (.133), VAN HORN 0-4, S MARBURY 1-3, JACKSON 0-1, OVERTON 1-6, STEPANIA 0-1. TECHNICALS: BOSTON - WALKER, STITH. OFFICIALS: DICK BAVETTA, JIM KINSEY, MONTY MCCUTCHEN. A - 12,621. T - 2:09.


Box Score

BOSTON (113) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pierce 38 15-26 10-10 0-6 1 3 44 Walker 40 10-23 3-3 1-7 8 2 29 Blount 13 1-1 0-0 0-2 0 0 2 Brown 24 1-5 0-0 0-1 5 4 2 Stith 29 2-6 2-2 0-2 2 2 8 Palacio 24 1-5 0-0 0-1 7 4 2 Potapenko 25 5-9 3-3 3-6 2 3 13 E Williams 19 2-8 1-2 1-2 1 2 6 Mccarty 18 2-3 0-0 2-4 3 1 5 Griffin 8 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 Moiso 2 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 Herren DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 40-88 19-20 7-31 30 21 113 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.455, FT-.950. 3-Point Goals: 14-30, .467 (Pierce 4-9, Walker 6-10, Stith 2-5, Palacio 0-2, E Williams 1-2, Mccarty 1-1, Moiso 0-1). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 6 (Potapenko 2, Walker, Pierce, Griffin, Blount). Turnovers: 9 (Walker 3, Mccarty 2, Moiso, Palacio, Pierce, Potapenko). Steals: 12 (Palacio 3, Walker 3, Potapenko 2, Brown, E Williams, Mccarty, Stith).

NEW JERSEY (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp K Martin 28 10-16 2-2 0-5 1 3 22 Van Horn 38 8-20 3-3 4-13 3 4 19 Eschmeyer 16 1-1 0-0 2-6 0 5 2 S Marbury 38 5-9 6-7 0-7 11 1 17 Newman 37 6-10 2-4 1-2 2 2 14 Williams 32 3-6 3-3 1-2 1 3 9 Jackson 13 1-4 0-0 0-2 1 3 2 Overton 22 1-8 0-0 0-2 4 1 3 Stepania 12 3-5 2-2 2-4 0 0 8 Samake 4 1-3 0-0 1-1 0 0 2 Douglas DNP - right thumb fracture Harris DNP - personal reasons _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-82 18-21 11-44 23 22 98 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.476, FT-.857. 3-Point Goals: 2-15, .133 (Van Horn 0-4, S Marbury 1-3, Jackson 0-1, Overton 1-6, Stepania 0-1). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 7 (Williams 4, K Martin, Van Horn, Eschmeyer). Turnovers: 23 (S Marbury 5, Jackson 4, Newman 3, Van Horn 3, Overton 2, Williams 2, K Martin, Samake, Stepania). Steals: 2 (Eschmeyer, K Martin). ____________________________________________ Boston 26 34 35 18 - 113 New Jersey 28 25 16 29 - 98 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Boston 2 (Walker, 9:49 1st; Stith, 6:18 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 12,621. T: 2:09. Officials: Dick Bavetta, Jim Kinsey, Monty Mccutchen.


Game Story

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- For the first half, the New Jersey Nets appeared ready to do some damage to the Boston Celtics' playoff hopes. Then they lost a key player and returned to form in the third quarter.

Paul Pierce scored a career-high 44 points as the Celtics pulled away for their third straight road win, 113-98, and climbed within a half-game of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

"You have to realize what is at stake for us," Pierce said. "It's the last 14 games of the season, there is no tomorrow. You have to finish it off strong. It is up to me and the rest of the guys to really turn up our play these last few games and really make a hard push for the playoffs."

Boston outscored New Jersey, 30-6, in the third period to overcome a 14-point first-quarter deficit.

After shooting 59 percent (24-of-41) in the first half, New Jersey committed 13 turnovers and was 0-of-7 from behind the arc in the third quarter. They made just 6-of-19 shots from the floor as Pierce sparked a run that stretched the Celtics' lead to 95-67 in the final minute of the period.

Garbage time came early in the fourth quarter. But Pierce stayed on the floor until Antoine Walker fed him for a layup with 2:06 remaining that broke his previous career best, established three times this season. He had 42 points a week ago in a 105-101 win at Phoenix.

"I realized it was late in the game, so I tried to get the extra bucket because I didn't want to get stuck on 42 again," Pierce said.

"I made sure he got the 44," added Walker.

Two of the Celtics' next three games are against the NBA-worst Chicago Bulls with the other against Atlanta. Then they face five straight playoff-bound opponents.

"We're trying to stay together as a group," Walker said. "If we stay together and play hard, hopefully we can beat out Indiana for that last spot."

Rookie Kenyon Martin led the Nets with 22 points on 10-of-16 shooting in 28 minutes. He left in the third quarter with a non-displaced stress fracture in his right fibula and will miss the rest of the season. New Jersey never recovered, shooting 48 percent (39-of-82) from the floor.

Martin injured the same bone last season while playing collegiately at Cincinnati and missed the NCAA Tournament.

"I don't know, man, it's very freaky," Nets point guard Stephon Marbury said. "I just hope he is all right. That's the first thing I'm thinking about. We have to continue to play hard."

"It seems like every time somebody steps up for us, they get injured," added forward Keith Van Horn.

The Celtics have won the last three meetings with the Nets, including two in a row in New Jersey.

The Nets were trying to post consecutive wins for the first time since February 18-21, when they beat the Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto at home.

"We came out strong in the second half, but I give credit to New Jersey, they are much better than their record shows," said Walker, who scored 29 points and combined with Pierce to provide more than 50 percent of Boston's offense. "We got off to a slow start, but we were able to bounce back and do what we had to do."

Marbury returned from a two-game absence due to a strained hip and collected 17 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. Van Horn had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Nets, who gave the Celtics 32 points off 23 turnovers.

Boston improved to 18-16 since interim coach Jim O'Brien replaced Rick Pitino.

"It is exciting," Pierce said. "I mean, we are playing for something."

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