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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DENVER 24 20 16 20 80 BOSTON 28 23 31 13 95 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DEN - AVERY JOHNSON 16, NICK VAN EXEL 16, VOSHON LENARD 14 BOS - PAUL PIERCE 35, ANTOINE WALKER 28, JOE JOHNSON 10

HIGH REBOUND: DEN - RAEF LAFRENTZ 8, JAMES POSEY 8 BOS - TONY BATTIE 10, TWO PLAYERS WITH 7

HIGH ASSISTS: DEN - AVERY JOHNSON 6, TWO PLAYERS WITH 3 BOS - KENNY ANDERSON 5, ANTOINE WALKER 4

ATT: 12,587


Extended Box

DENVER (80) AT BOSTON (95)

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

G MCCLOUD F 18 1-5 2-3 0 2 2 3 3 2 1 5 POSEY F 20 1-9 0-0 1 7 8 2 0 0 3 2 LAFRENTZ C 24 3-6 0-0 3 5 8 1 2 0 1 7 JOHNSON G 30 7-9 2-3 1 1 2 6 3 2 3 16 VAN EXEL G 29 8-20 0-0 0 1 1 3 2 0 3 16 CHEANEY 31 5-11 0-0 0 4 4 2 3 1 0 10 BOWEN 24 1-1 0-0 2 4 6 1 5 0 0 2 WILLIAMS 13 2-5 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 1 0 4 LENARD 28 6-13 1-3 1 2 3 0 0 1 2 14 SCOTT 11 2-2 0-0 2 4 6 1 1 0 1 4 SATTERFIELD 6 0-2 0-0 1 1 2 1 1 2 3 0 HAMILTON 6 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

TOTALS 240 36-84 5-9 11 33 44 20 20 9 17 80 (.429) (.556) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 17(16 PTS)

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

PIERCE F 40 12-23 9-10 0 7 7 2 1 4 1 35 WALKER F 40 10-23 4-5 1 5 6 4 2 0 4 28 BATTIE C 30 4-7 1-2 5 5 10 1 1 0 1 9 ANDERSON G 24 4-5 1-3 0 2 2 5 2 2 1 9 JOHNSON G 30 5-13 0-0 1 5 6 2 0 2 1 10 PALACIO 18 0-4 0-0 1 3 4 3 2 0 0 0 STRICKLAND 14 0-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 POTAPENKO 18 2-3 0-0 6 1 7 1 3 0 1 4 E WILLIAMS 11 0-1 0-0 0 3 3 2 0 1 1 0 R BROWN 6 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 K BROWN 6 0-3 0-0 0 3 3 0 0 1 0 0 BLOUNT 3 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

TOTALS 240 37-87 15-20 14 34 48 22 13 11 11 95 (.425) (.750) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 11(14 PTS)

DENVER 24 20 16 20 - 80 BOSTON 28 23 31 13 - 95

BLOCKED SHOTS: DENVER - LAFRENTZ 3, SCOTT. BOSTON - WALKER, R BROWN, BATTIE, JOHNSON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DENVER 3-16 (.188), G MCCLOUD 1-3, POSEY 0-3, LAFRENTZ 1-1, VAN EXEL 0-4, CHEANEY 0-1, LENARD 1-4. BOSTON 6-21 (.286), PIERCE 2-7, WALKER 4-11, JOHNSON 0-2, K BROWN 0-1. TECHNICALS: BOSTON - DEFENSIVE THREE. OFFICIALS: DAN CRAWFORD, LEROY RICHARDSON, PAT FRAHER. A - 12,587. T - 1:54.


Box Score

DENVER (80) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp G Mccloud 18 1-5 2-3 0-2 3 3 5 Posey 20 1-9 0-0 1-8 2 0 2 Lafrentz 24 3-6 0-0 3-8 1 2 7 Johnson 30 7-9 2-3 1-2 6 3 16 Van Exel 29 8-20 0-0 0-1 3 2 16 Cheaney 31 5-11 0-0 0-4 2 3 10 Bowen 24 1-1 0-0 2-6 1 5 2 Williams 13 2-5 0-0 0-2 0 0 4 Lenard 28 6-13 1-3 1-3 0 0 14 Scott 11 2-2 0-0 2-6 1 1 4 Satterfield 6 0-2 0-0 1-2 1 1 0 Hamilton 6 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-84 5-9 11-44 20 20 80 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.429, FT-.556. 3-Point Goals: 3-16, .188 (G Mccloud 1-3, Posey 0-3, Lafrentz 1-1, Van Exel 0-4, Cheaney 0-1, Lenard 1-4). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 4 (Lafrentz 3, Scott). Turnovers: 17 (Johnson 3, Posey 3, Satterfield 3, Van Exel 3, Lenard 2, G Mccloud, Lafrentz, Scott). Steals: 9 (G Mccloud 2, Johnson 2, Satterfield 2, Cheaney, Lenard, Williams).

BOSTON (95) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pierce 40 12-23 9-10 0-7 2 1 35 Walker 40 10-23 4-5 1-6 4 2 28 Battie 30 4-7 1-2 5-10 1 1 9 Anderson 24 4-5 1-3 0-2 5 2 9 Johnson 30 5-13 0-0 1-6 2 0 10 Palacio 18 0-4 0-0 1-4 3 2 0 Strickland 14 0-3 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Potapenko 18 2-3 0-0 6-7 1 3 4 E Williams 11 0-1 0-0 0-3 2 0 0 R Brown 6 0-1 0-0 0-0 2 1 0 K Brown 6 0-3 0-0 0-3 0 0 0 Blount 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 37-87 15-20 14-48 22 13 95 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.425, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 6-21, .286 (Pierce 2-7, Walker 4-11, Johnson 0-2, K Brown 0-1). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 4 (Walker, R Brown, Battie, Johnson). Turnovers: 11 (Walker 4, Anderson, Battie, E Williams, Johnson, Pierce, Potapenko, Strickland). Steals: 11 (Pierce 4, Anderson 2, Johnson 2, E Williams, K Brown, Strickland). ____________________________________________ Denver 24 20 16 20 - 80 Boston 28 23 31 13 - 95 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Boston 1 (Defensive Three, 10:46 1st). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 12,587. T: 1:54. Officials: Dan Crawford, Leroy Richardson, Pat Fraher.


Game Story

BOSTON (Ticker) -- When Paul Pierce gets hot, so do the Boston Celtics.

Pierce scored 21 of his 35 points in the third quarter as the Boston Celtics won their fifth straight game, 95-80, over the Denver Nuggets.

Pierce, who scored 46 points in the second half in Saturday's overtime victory over the New Jersey Nets, came alive again in the second half as Boston extended a 51-44 halftime lead to 82-60 after three periods.

On Saturday, Pierce had just two points in the first half. At halftime against the Nuggets, he had 14 on 4-of-12 from the floor.

Pierce, who is the second-leading scorer in the league behind Allen Iverson, had just four points in the first 12 minutes before making a desperation half-court shot as time ran out.

He also scored Boston's first six points of the second quarter before he really got rolling.

Kenny Anderson's jumper gave the Celtics a 53-44 lead to open the second half and Pierce scored 18 of Boston's next 20 points. He had 11 in a 17-6 run that closed the quarter and finished off the Nuggets.

Pierce made 12-of-23 shots, including 7-of-8 in the period. He made a 30-foot 3-pointer as time expired.

Pierce was all over the court, driving to the hoop and draining mid-range jump shots as the Celtics had their best third quarter at home this season.

"I try to mix it up, keep the defense off balance, go outside and shoot perimeter shots and keep the defense honest," Pierce said. "It's tough if my perimeter shot is going because they have to come out away from the basket.

"It's about being in that rhythm and playing with confidence. Building confidence is the key, no matter what the score is or how many shots you make. That's something that I've have learned as a player. You make two or three shots in a row and you get in a groove.

Denver, which has been without its best post player, Antonio McDyess, did not have an answer for Pierce down low and was unable to do much of anything defensively.

"Everybody has injuries and everybody is going to lose a player from time to time," said Denver coach Dan Issel. "You can't use that as an excuse. We each have to do a little extra and to step up a little more to take Antonio's place."

While the Celtics were rolling offensively, they also were doing it on the defensive side. The Nuggets' first six possessions of the second half resulted in four turnovers and two missed jumpers.

The Nuggets did not score in the quarter until the 8:08 mark when former Celtic Calbert Cheaney made a 21-footer to cut the deficit to 61-46.

"Pierce is going to do his thing," Nuggets guard Nick Van Exel said. "But he had no influence on us in those first five possessions. It was our mental focus and we didn't have it coming of halftime.

"There is now way you can come out in the third quarter and give up that many points and expect to win," Nuggets guard Avery Johnson added. "We threw the ball all over the gym and this is a different Celtics team. You can't come in here and skate against this Celtics team anymore."

Offensive partner Antoine Walker added 28 points on 10-of-23 shooting as the Celtics shot 42.5 percent (37-of-87).

Van Exel and Johnson scored 16 points apiece for the Nuggets, who have dropped six in a row to the Celtics.

The Celtics (10-6) have allowed 83.8 points per game during their winning streak. They had surrendered 94.1 points per game before the streak, when they were one game under .500

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