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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- LA LAKERS 22 34 23 21 100 BOSTON 14 21 23 38 96 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 39, RICK FOX 19, HORACE GRANT 14 BOS - PAUL PIERCE 30, ANTOINE WALKER 21, ADRIAN GRIFFIN 10

HIGH REBOUND: LAL - SHAQUILLE ONEAL 14, BRIAN SHAW 10 BOS - MARK BLOUNT 7, THREE PLAYERS WITH 5

HIGH ASSISTS: LAL - BRIAN SHAW 9, RICK FOX 8 BOS - ANTOINE WALKER 6, MILT PALACIO 3

ATT: 18,624


Extended Box

LA LAKERS (100) AT BOSTON (96)

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

FOX F 46 6-12 5-5 0 6 6 8 5 2 4 19 GRANT F 32 6-10 2-3 3 4 7 1 1 1 0 14 ONEAL C 42 12-18 15-23 5 9 14 1 3 1 7 39 FISHER G 37 1-7 2-4 0 1 1 5 2 3 3 4 SHAW G 37 4-9 0-0 0 10 10 9 2 2 0 10 GEORGE 7 1-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 5 0 2 3 HORRY 17 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 2 5 1 3 0 MADSEN 4 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 PENBERTHY 15 3-4 3-3 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 11 RIDER 3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 BRYANT DNP - SORE LEFT FOOT FOSTER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 33-62 27-38 8 35 43 26 24 10 21 100 (.532) (.711) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 22(24 PTS)

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

PIERCE F 39 10-25 7-14 1 4 5 1 2 4 2 30 WALKER F 43 8-21 1-2 0 5 5 6 5 2 4 21 BLOUNT C 19 3-5 0-0 4 3 7 1 5 0 1 6 BROWN G 8 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 2 0 0 0 STITH G 25 1-3 1-2 2 3 5 2 2 3 3 4 PALACIO 28 3-4 1-1 2 0 2 3 2 1 1 7 POTAPENKO 14 3-7 0-0 1 2 3 1 0 0 1 6 E WILLIAMS 19 1-3 0-1 0 0 0 2 2 0 1 2 MCCARTY 13 3-4 0-0 0 2 2 1 4 1 0 9 BATTIE 7 0-4 1-2 1 0 1 0 3 0 1 1 GRIFFIN 13 4-4 0-0 2 1 3 1 1 0 1 10 HERREN 12 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0

TOTALS 240 36-80 11-22 13 21 34 22 28 11 15 96 (.450) (.500) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 16(22 PTS)

LA LAKERS 22 34 23 21 - 100 BOSTON 14 21 23 38 - 96

BLOCKED SHOTS: LA LAKERS - ONEAL 2, FOX. BOSTON - PIERCE. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: LA LAKERS 7-14 (.500), FOX 2-6, FISHER 0-1, SHAW 2-4, GEORGE 1-1, PENBERTHY 2-2. BOSTON 13-25 (.520), PIERCE 3-9, WALKER 4-9, STITH 1-1, PALACIO 0-1, MCCARTY 3-3, GRIFFIN 2-2. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: TOMMY NUNEZ, HUE HOLLINS, LEROY RICHARDSON. A - 18,624. T - 2:22.


Box Score

LA LAKERS (100) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Fox 46 6-12 5-5 0-6 8 5 19 Grant 32 6-10 2-3 3-7 1 1 14 Oneal 42 12-18 15-23 5-14 1 3 39 Fisher 37 1-7 2-4 0-1 5 2 4 Shaw 37 4-9 0-0 0-10 9 2 10 George 7 1-1 0-0 0-2 0 5 3 Horry 17 0-0 0-0 0-2 2 5 0 Madsen 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Penberthy 15 3-4 3-3 0-1 0 1 11 Rider 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Bryant DNP - sore left foot Foster DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-62 27-38 8-43 26 24 100 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.532, FT-.711. 3-Point Goals: 7-14, .500 (Fox 2-6, Fisher 0-1, Shaw 2-4, George 1-1, Penberthy 2-2). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 3 (Oneal 2, Fox). Turnovers: 22 (Oneal 7, Fox 4, Fisher 3, Horry 3, George 2, Rider 2). Steals: 10 (Fisher 3, Fox 2, Shaw 2, Grant, Horry, Oneal).

BOSTON (96) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pierce 39 10-25 7-14 1-5 1 2 30 Walker 43 8-21 1-2 0-5 6 5 21 Blount 19 3-5 0-0 4-7 1 5 6 Brown 8 0-0 0-0 0-1 2 2 0 Stith 25 1-3 1-2 2-5 2 2 4 Palacio 28 3-4 1-1 2-2 3 2 7 Potapenko 14 3-7 0-0 1-3 1 0 6 E Williams 19 1-3 0-1 0-0 2 2 2 Mccarty 13 3-4 0-0 0-2 1 4 9 Battie 7 0-4 1-2 1-1 0 3 1 Griffin 13 4-4 0-0 2-3 1 1 10 Herren 12 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 0 0 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-80 11-22 13-34 22 28 96 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.450, FT-.500. 3-Point Goals: 13-25, .520 (Pierce 3-9, Walker 4-9, Stith 1-1, Palacio 0-1, Mccarty 3-3, Griffin 2-2). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 1 (Pierce). Turnovers: 16 (Walker 4, Stith 3, Pierce 2, Battie, Blount, E Williams, Griffin, Palacio, Potapenko). Steals: 11 (Pierce 4, Stith 3, Walker 2, Mccarty, Palacio). ____________________________________________ La Lakers 22 34 23 21 - 100 Boston 14 21 23 38 - 96 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,624. T: 2:22. Officials: Tommy Nunez, Hue Hollins, Leroy Richardson.


Game Story

BOSTON (Ticker) -- After nearly digging themselves out of gigantic hole, the Boston Celtics were buried by Derek Fisher again.

The Celtics nearly rallied from 24 points down in the fourth quarter before Fisher made a key steal with three seconds remaining, preserving a 100-96 victory for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Fighting for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics were badly outplayed by the defending NBA champions for much of the night and trailed 82-58 early in the fourth quarter.

But the Celtics came to life and closed to 97-96 on two free throws by Paul Pierce with 32 seconds left. On the ensuing trip, Horace Grant hit a tough fadeaway jumper to give Los Angeles a three-point lead with eight seconds to go.

Pierce was the go-to guy on the Celtics' final possession but before he could get up a shot, he was stripped by Fisher. On the other end, Fisher sealed it by making 1-of-2 from the line.

"We like Derek Fisher's energy and defense. He came up with a big play at the end with a steal from Pierce," said Lakers forward and former Celtic Rick Fox.

In his first game of the season on March 13, Fisher scored a career-high 26 points and handed out eight assists to lead Los Angeles to a 112-107 victory over Boston. Fisher was quiet in this contest with just four points and five assists.

Shaquille O'Neal dominated inside, scoring 39 points and grabbing 14 rebounds for Los Angeles, which pulled within one-half game of first-place Sacramento in the Pacific Division.

Pierce netted 30 points for the Celtics, who lost for the fourth time in their last five games and dropped 1 1/2 games behind Indiana for the East's final playoff spot.

"We took it to them late in the game. We were pushing the ball, taking threes in transition," Pierce said. "That's just the way we play. It hurts to lose but we gave ourselves a chance to win. We just couldn't convert."

"We got off to a very poor start," Celtics coach Jim O'Brien said. "I thought our guys really played with a lot of guts coming down the stretch. We never gave up on the game which I think is impressive."

In control for much of the night, the Lakers matched their biggest lead at 82-58 with 11:48 remaining on a pair of free throws by Mike Penberthy, who scored 11 points.

Behind Pierce, who made 10-of-25 shots from the field, the Celtics began to chip away. The 6-6 forward scored 10 points in a 12-2 run as Boston closed to 84-70 with 9:49 to go.

O'Neal was unstoppable in the first three quarters, when he scored 34 points. But he disappeared in the fourth with the Celtics making their charge.

Walter McCarty, a major disappointment this season, caught fire during the comeback and drained three 3-pointers. His last one helped Boston close to 91-84 with 3:38 remaining.

The three 3-pointers for McCarty were his only points and established season high. His previous season high was seven points.

Boston was hot from 3-point range most of the night, making 13-of-25 attempts. The Celtics shot 45 percent (36-of-80) from the field.

Even though the Celtics closed to one in the waning seconds, they never had possession with a chance to take the lead.

"We didn't count on Walter McCarty making three threes," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We gave up 11 points (of their lead) in the last quarter but we knew we were going to win it."

"In this league, no 20-point lead is safe," O'Neal said. "I don't think it was fatigue. They just hit a lot of 3-pointers. They just got hot."

Totally overmatched in the middle, the Celtics had no anwser for the 7-2, 315-pound O'Neal, who poured in 22 points in the first half to help Los Angeles build a 56-35 advantage.

O'Neal did most of his damage against Mark Blount and Vitaly Potapenko. The reigning NBA Most Valuable Player, O'Neal made 12-of-18 shots and 15-of-23 at the line.

"Nobody has an answer for me, ever, especially when I'm hitting my free throws," O'Neal said. I've been doing it for nine years. The ball has to keep moving. The ball has to go through me."

Fox added 19 points and Grant 14 for the Lakers, who shot 53 percent (33-of-62) and won despite committing 21 turnovers.

Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant missed his third straight game with a foot injury.

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