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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- BOSTON 30 30 18 14 92 DALLAS 28 20 23 27 98 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: BOS - PAUL PIERCE 17, TONY BATTIE 17, ANTOINE WALKER 16 DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 33, MICHAEL FINLEY 24, STEVE NASH 16

HIGH REBOUND: BOS - TONY BATTIE 9, TWO PLAYERS WITH 7 DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 23, MICHAEL FINLEY 10

HIGH ASSISTS: BOS - KENNY ANDERSON 9, ERIC WILLIAMS 3 DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 8, MICHAEL FINLEY 6

ATT: 20,013


Extended Box

BOSTON (92) AT DALLAS (98)

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

PIERCE F 43 5-12 7-9 0 6 6 1 5 1 1 17 WALKER F 36 7-16 0-0 0 7 7 2 4 1 4 16 BATTIE C 33 8-13 1-4 5 4 9 0 4 1 2 17 ANDERSON G 38 4-12 2-2 0 3 3 9 2 1 6 10 K BROWN G 19 1-4 0-0 0 7 7 1 1 0 0 2 STRICKLAND 29 6-15 1-1 0 3 3 1 1 1 0 15 E WILLIAMS 20 1-3 1-2 0 4 4 3 4 2 1 3 POTAPENKO 8 2-2 2-2 2 2 4 0 1 1 2 6 MCCARTY 14 2-8 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 6 BLOUNT DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 36-85 14-20 7 37 44 18 23 8 16 92 (.424) (.700) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 17(8 PTS)

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

MANNING F 23 4-10 0-0 0 4 4 1 3 4 1 8 NEWMAN F 43 3-9 1-2 0 1 1 1 5 0 4 8 NOWITZKI C 45 12-23 6-6 5 18 23 8 2 1 3 33 FINLEY G 45 10-20 2-2 1 9 10 6 2 0 2 24 NASH G 32 3-9 7-7 0 4 4 4 0 0 4 16 NAJERA 28 2-5 2-4 4 3 7 0 5 3 3 6 ESCHMEYER 10 0-2 0-0 3 2 5 0 3 0 2 0 WANG 14 1-7 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3

TOTALS 240 35-85 18-21 13 41 54 20 21 8 19 98 (.412) (.857) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 19(18 PTS)

BOSTON 30 30 18 14 - 92 DALLAS 28 20 23 27 - 98

BLOCKED SHOTS: BOSTON - PIERCE 2. DALLAS - NOWITZKI 4, ESCHMEYER, NAJERA. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: BOSTON 6-23 (.261), PIERCE 0-2, WALKER 2-5, K BROWN 0-2, STRICKLAND 2-8, E WILLIAMS 0-1, MCCARTY 2-5. DALLAS 10-25 (.400), NEWMAN 1-5, NOWITZKI 3-6, FINLEY 2-5, NASH 3-4, NAJERA 0-1, WANG 1-4. TECHNICALS: BOSTON - HEAD COACH OBRIEN, WALKER, DALLAS - DEFENSIVE THREE, NEWMAN. OFFICIALS: ED F RUSH, COURTNEY KIRKLAND, MIKE SMITH. A - 20,013. T - 2:08.


Box Score

BOSTON (92) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Pierce 43 5-12 7-9 0-6 1 5 17 Walker 36 7-16 0-0 0-7 2 4 16 Battie 33 8-13 1-4 5-9 0 4 17 Anderson 38 4-12 2-2 0-3 9 2 10 K Brown 19 1-4 0-0 0-7 1 1 2 Strickland 29 6-15 1-1 0-3 1 1 15 E Williams 20 1-3 1-2 0-4 3 4 3 Potapenko 8 2-2 2-2 2-4 0 1 6 Mccarty 14 2-8 0-0 0-1 1 1 6 Blount DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 36-85 14-20 7-44 18 23 92 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.424, FT-.700. 3-Point Goals: 6-23, .261 (Pierce 0-2, Walker 2-5, K Brown 0-2, Strickland 2-8, E Williams 0-1, Mccarty 2-5). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 2 (Pierce 2). Turnovers: 17 (Anderson 6, Walker 4, Battie 2, Potapenko 2, E Williams, Pierce). Steals: 8 (E Williams 2, Anderson, Battie, Pierce, Potapenko, Strickland, Walker).

DALLAS (98) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Manning 23 4-10 0-0 0-4 1 3 8 Newman 43 3-9 1-2 0-1 1 5 8 Nowitzki 45 12-23 6-6 5-23 8 2 33 Finley 45 10-20 2-2 1-10 6 2 24 Nash 32 3-9 7-7 0-4 4 0 16 Najera 28 2-5 2-4 4-7 0 5 6 Eschmeyer 10 0-2 0-0 3-5 0 3 0 Wang 14 1-7 0-0 0-0 0 1 3 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-85 18-21 13-54 20 21 98 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.412, FT-.857. 3-Point Goals: 10-25, .400 (Newman 1-5, Nowitzki 3-6, Finley 2-5, Nash 3-4, Najera 0-1, Wang 1-4). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 6 (Nowitzki 4, Eschmeyer, Najera). Turnovers: 19 (Nash 4, Newman 4, Najera 3, Nowitzki 3, Eschmeyer 2, Finley 2, Manning). Steals: 8 (Manning 4, Najera 3, Nowitzki). ____________________________________________ Boston 30 30 18 14 - 92 Dallas 28 20 23 27 - 98 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Boston 2 (Head Coach Obrien, 4:20 2nd; Walker, 8:07 3rd). Dallas 2 (Defensive Three, 8:56 1st; Newman, 8:07 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 20,013. T: 2:08. Officials: Ed F Rush, Courtney Kirkland, Mike Smith.


Game Story

DALLAS (Ticker) -- With their new players watching from the stands, the Dallas Mavericks showed why they are a whole lot of fun to play for.

Dirk Nowitzki had 33 points and 23 rebounds and teamed with Steve Nash and Michael Finley to lead a fourth-quarter comeback as the Mavericks defeated the Boston Celtics, 98-92.

Earlier Thursday, the Mavericks acquired guards Nick Van Exel, Avery Johnson and Tariq Abdul-Wahad and forward Raef LaFrentz from Denver for forwards Juwan Howard and Donnell Harvey, guard Tim Hardaway and a 2002 first-round pick.

The deal should provide even more scoring for the Mavericks, who lead the NBA at 105 points per game and play a wide-open style with plenty of running and gunning.

"It's always tough to see teammates go, but that's the business," Nowitzki said. "We want to get better. The new guys are going to be phenomenal and they are going to help our team."

Van Exel, LaFrentz and Johnson arrived during the game and were taken to a club box at the American Airlines Center. They saw their new team, with just eight available players, rally from a 14-point deficit.

"I'm real excited. What a game tonight," Van Exel said. "I really don't know what to say, I'm just real excited to be here with the group that these guys have here."

"My head is still spinning from the day of events," LaFrentz said. "I'm very excited to be here. Like Nick said, this is a good opportunity to play on a championship-caliber team."

Nowitzki, who also had eight assists and four blocks, buried a 3-pointer to bring Dallas within 90-89 with 2:07 remaining. Finley's jumper from the right wing gave the Mavs the lead for good with 1:19 remaining and Nash drilled a 3-pointer for a 94-90 lead with 38 seconds to play.

Finley scored eight of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and Nash had seven of his 16 in the final minute, including four free throws to seal the win.

"It's good for us given the circumstances, a limited roster and losing friends and teammates to the trade," Finley said. "With all those distractions, we still were able to come away with the win."

"Under the circumstances, that was indeed a really special win," Mavs coach Don Nelson said. "We had a lot of tired guys. The new players are going to be welcome, because we're tired and need some help."

Paul Pierce and Tony Battie scored 17 points each and Antoine Walker added 16 for the Celtics, who fell to 3-3 on their seven-game road trip.

"It's definitely a tough game to swallow, but the Dallas Mavericks are a tough team," Pierce said. "We didn't keep our composure the way we should have. You have to learn to put teams away."

Boston also was without recently acquired players. Rodney Rogers was in uniform but did not play. Tony Delk was not with the team. Both players came over from Phoenix in Wednesday's trade that sent swingman Joe Johnson and guards Milt Palacio and Randy Brown to the Suns.

The Mavs trailed 78-71 entering the fourth quarter but pulled into an 84-84 tie on a 3-pointer by Wang Zhizhi with 6:58 to go. Baskets by Kenny Anderson and former Mav Erick Strickland gave Boston an 88-84 lead, but Finley hit a corner jumper with 5:57 left.

Anderson made a floater in the lane for a 90-86 lead with 4:34 remaining and the teams went scoreless for nearly 2 1/2 minutes until Nowitzki's 3-pointer.

After Finley's go-ahead basket, Strickland missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer with 57 seconds left.

Danny Manning started in place of Howard and scored eight points in 23 minutes. Johnny Newman also scored eight points for the Mavs, who shot 41 percent (35-of-85) but held a 54-44 edge on the boards.

"They still have three All-Stars on the floor, so you can never take them lightly," Walker said.

Strickland scored 15 points and Anderson had 10 and nine assists for the Celtics, who shot 42 percent (36-of-85), including just 6-of-23 from the arc.

Strickland had a three-point play and 3-pointer in an 8-0 burst that opened the second quarter, giving Boston a 38-28 lead. A tip-in by Vitaly Potapenko gave the Celtics their largest lead at 44-30 with 8:34 left.

Nowitzki scored 20 points in the first half, which ended with Dallas trailing, 60-48. Finley scored nine points in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to seven points entering the final period.

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