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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     BOSTON           11   24   18   27    80   
     MINNESOTA        14   23   21   19    77      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   BOS - JIRI WELSCH 18, PAUL PIERCE 13, CHUCKY 
                      ATKINS 12
                MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 20, SAM CASSELL 13, 
                      MICHAEL OLOWOKANDI 10

HIGH REBOUND:   BOS - MARK BLOUNT 11, PAUL PIERCE 10, CHRIS 
                      MIHM 8
                MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 14, MICHAEL OLOWOKANDI 14,
                      TWO PLAYERS WITH 6

HIGH ASSISTS:   BOS - PAUL PIERCE 6, CHUCKY ATKINS 4, THREE 
                      PLAYERS WITH 1
                MIN - KEVIN GARNETT 6, TROY HUDSON 5, LATRELL 
                      SPREWELL 4

         ATT:   17,661

Box Score

BOSTON (80) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Welsch 29 7-12 2-2 0-7 0 0 18 B Hunter 13 1-7 0-0 3-6 1 1 2 M Blount 33 0-5 0-0 1-11 0 4 0 P Pierce 43 4-21 5-5 1-10 6 4 13 C Atkins 35 4-13 3-4 0-1 4 0 12 C Mihm 29 4-8 3-3 2-8 0 2 11 R Davis 25 3-6 3-4 0-2 1 2 9 M Banks 11 3-7 0-0 0-0 1 1 6 W Mccarty 22 3-8 0-0 0-4 0 1 9 M Stewart DNP - COACH'S DECISION J Jones DNP - COACH'S DECISION K Perkins DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-87 16-18 7-49 13 15 80 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.333, FT-.889. 3-Point Goals: 6-24, .250 (J Welsch 2-5, B Hunter 0-1, P Pierce 0-3, C Atkins 1-6, M Banks 0-1, W Mccarty 3-8). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots:3 (M Blount 2, C Mihm). Turnovers:7 (P Pierce 2, R Davis, M Blount, C Mihm, B Hunter, M Banks). Steals: 9 (R Davis 2, C Atkins 2, J Welsch 2, M Blount, M Banks, P Pierce). MINNESOTA (77) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp L Sprewell 31 1-9 2-2 1-5 4 2 4 K Garnett 41 9-19 2-2 4-14 6 2 20 M Olowokandi 34 5-14 0-0 1-14 2 2 10 T Hassell 46 4-10 0-0 1-6 3 5 8 S Cassell 29 6-14 0-0 1-6 3 3 13 T Hudson 21 2-10 3-4 1-3 5 2 8 M Madsen 9 3-5 0-0 2-4 0 1 6 W Szczerbiak 17 2-8 2-2 1-2 1 3 6 G Trent 12 1-3 0-0 0-3 0 2 2 E Johnson DNP - COACH'S DECISION O Miller DNP - COACH'S DECISION F Hoiberg DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-92 9-10 12-57 24 22 77 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.359, FT-.900. 3-Point Goals: 2-12, .167 (L Sprewell 0-3, S Cassell 1-2, T Hudson 1-4, M Madsen 0-1, W Szczerbiak 0-2). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:7 (M Olowokandi 5, K Garnett 2). Turnovers:12 (T Hudson 3, G Trent 2, L Sprewell 2, M Olowokandi 2, S Cassell, W Szczerbiak, M Madsen). Steals: 6 (K Garnett 2, M Olowokandi 2, G Trent, T Hassell). ------------------------------------------- BOSTON 11 24 18 27 - 80 MINNESOTA 14 23 21 19 - 77 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 17,661. T: 2:26. Officials: Blane Reichelt, Jack Nies, Mike Henderson.


Extended Box

BOSTON (80) AT MINNESOTA (77) BOSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === J WELSCH F 29 7-12 2-2 0 7 7 0 0 2 0 18 B HUNTER F 13 1-7 0-0 3 3 6 1 1 0 1 2 M BLOUNT C 33 0-5 0-0 1 10 11 0 4 1 1 0 P PIERCE G 43 4-21 5-5 1 9 10 6 4 1 2 13 C ATKINS G 35 4-13 3-4 0 1 1 4 0 2 0 12 C MIHM 29 4-8 3-3 2 6 8 0 2 0 1 11 R DAVIS 25 3-6 3-4 0 2 2 1 2 2 1 9 M BANKS 11 3-7 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 6 W MCCARTY 22 3-8 0-0 0 4 4 0 1 0 0 9 M STEWART DNP - COACH'S DECISION J JONES DNP - COACH'S DECISION K PERKINS DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 29-87 16-18 7 42 49 13 15 9 7 80 (.333) (.889) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 8 (6 PTS) MINNESOTA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === L SPREWELL F 31 1-9 2-2 1 4 5 4 2 0 2 4 K GARNETT F 41 9-19 2-2 4 10 14 6 2 2 0 20 M OLOWOKANDI C 34 5-14 0-0 1 13 14 2 2 2 2 10 T HASSELL G 46 4-10 0-0 1 5 6 3 5 1 0 8 S CASSELL G 29 6-14 0-0 1 5 6 3 3 0 1 13 T HUDSON 21 2-10 3-4 1 2 3 5 2 0 3 8 M MADSEN 9 3-5 0-0 2 2 4 0 1 0 1 6 W SZCZERBIAK 17 2-8 2-2 1 1 2 1 3 0 1 6 G TRENT 12 1-3 0-0 0 3 3 0 2 1 2 2 E JOHNSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION O MILLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION F HOIBERG DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 33-92 9-10 12 45 57 24 22 6 12 77 (.359) (.900) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 12 (13 PTS) BOSTON 11 24 18 27 - 80 MINNESOTA 14 23 21 19 - 77 BLOCKED SHOTS: BOSTON - M BLOUNT 2, C MIHM. MINNESOTA - M OLOWOKANDI 5, K GARNETT 2. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: BOSTON 6-24 (.250), J WELSCH 2-5, B HUNTER 0-1, P PIERCE 0-3, C ATKINS 1-6, M BANKS 0-1, W MCCARTY 3-8. MINNESOTA 2- 12 (.167), L SPREWELL 0-3, S CASSELL 1-2, T HUDSON 1-4, M MADSEN 0- 1, W SZCZERBIAK 0-2. TECHNICAL FOULS: NONE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: BLANE REICHELT, JACK NIES, MIKE HENDERSON. A - 17,661. T - 2:26.


Game Story

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Another nationally televised Sunday night game, another inexcusable loss for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Chasing the best record in the NBA, the Timberwolves blew a 13-point second-half lead and suffered an 80-77 loss to the Boston Celtics, who have won five straight games. It was the third loss in four games for Minnesota (44-19), which saw its lead in the Midwest Division reduced to two games over San Antonio. It has dropped its last two home games. Last week, the Timberwolves traveled to Philadelphia and suffered an 81-74 loss to the 76ers, who were without Allen Iverson and Glenn Robinson. This week, it was Boston, which had not beaten a Western Conference team since January 11. "We can't score more than 75 points on a Sunday," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders bemoaned. "I don't know what we're doing on Saturday night, but this has become a recurring theme with us." "Not a good week at all," forward Wally Szczerbiak said. Minnesota allowed a 58-45 lead to dwindle to 58-53 after going scoreless for the final 3:48 of the third period. It went scoreless for another four minutes in the fourth quarter, surrendering the lead for good. "We should have gone out and beaten up on this team if we're talking about contending for a championship or trying to make a run in the postseason," Wolves center Michael Olowokandi said. "This is the type of team that we need to beat." Jiri Welsch scored 14 of his 18 points in the final period for Boston, which matched its longest winning streak despite poor shooting by Paul Pierce. The All-Star guard made just 4-of-21 shots, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds. "This was a big win for us, for our confidence," Pierce said. "Everyone was saying we won four games in a row but we really didn't play anybody. Well, who'd we play today? One of the best teams in the West, and we got a win." The Celtics (28-36) moved one-half game ahead of Cleveland and Miami for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The top eight teams make the playoffs. "Right now we're on a roll, we feel good about ourselves," said guard Chucky Atkins, who scored 12 points. "Right now we're trying to improve every game as a team, and wins like tonight are good for us." Two 3-pointers and a lefthanded layup by Welsch gave the Celtics the lead for good at 65-64 with 6:39 to go. The struggling Pierce added a basket less than a minute later. "I didn't come out today and say, 'Well, Paul is struggling with his shot, so now it's time for me to take over,'" Welsch said. "I didn't think that way." A jumper by Welsch made it 74-68 with 3:38 remaining. Sam Cassell and Troy Hudson made jumpers for Minnesota, but Welsch got loose for a breakaway dunk with 59 seconds left after Hudson missed a jumper. "I thought Jiri did a great job in the second half and really broke the game open a little bit for us and took some pressure off the guys who were struggling offensively," Celtics interim coach John Carroll said. Boston held on, surviving a potential tying 3-pointer by Cassell that missed at the buzzer. The Celtics won despite 33 percent (29-of-87) shooting. They made 16-of-18 free throws, committed just eight turnovers and got 35 points from their bench. Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 14 rebounds, Cassell scored 13 points and Olowokandi added 10 and 14 for Minnesota, which shot 36 percent (33-of-92). Latrell Sprewell made just 1-of-9 shots.


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