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NBA   FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH   TOTAL
                       ---  ---  ---  ---   -----
      BOSTON           19   25   19   23    86   
      NEW JERSEY       37   18   30   14    99      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   BOS - PAUL PIERCE 16, RICKY DAVIS 14, RAEF 
                      LAFRENTZ 9
                NJN - VINCE CARTER 45, NENAD KRSTIC 17, CLIFF 
                      ROBINSON 11

Box Score

BOSTON (86) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp P Pierce 32 6-13 3-5 1-6 4 3 16 A Walker 25 3-6 0-0 1-2 2 3 6 R LaFrentz 30 4-10 1-1 1-8 0 0 9 D West 22 3-7 0-0 0-2 1 2 8 G Payton 25 2-5 0-0 0-1 8 0 4 R Davis 32 4-13 6-6 2-6 5 1 14 A Jefferson 17 2-5 1-2 2-6 2 2 5 M Banks 20 2-5 1-2 0-1 3 3 5 M Blount 14 4-5 0-3 1-4 1 0 8 K Perkins 11 0-0 3-4 0-2 1 1 3 J Reed 5 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 T Allen 7 2-3 1-2 0-0 0 0 6 _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-73 16-25 8-38 27 15 86 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.452, FT-.640. 3-Point Goals: 4-18, .222 (P Pierce 1-4, A Walker 0-1, R LaFrentz 0-3, D West 2-4, G Payton 0-1, R Davis 0-3, M Banks 0-1, T Allen 1-1). Team Rebounds: 14. Blocked Shots:6 (R LaFrentz 2, P Pierce 2, T Allen, K Perkins). Turnovers:22 (P Pierce 4, A Walker 3, R Davis 3, K Perkins 3, M Banks 3, M Blount 2, G Payton, R LaFrentz, A Jefferson, D West). Steals: 5 (D West 2, R Davis, T Allen, P Pierce). NEW JERSEY (99) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp B Scalabrine 22 2-8 0-0 4-6 5 5 4 J Collins 24 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 3 2 N Krstic 28 7-15 3-3 2-8 0 4 17 V Carter 36 18-32 2-3 1-7 3 2 45 J Kidd 37 2-6 0-0 1-9 17 3 4 C Robinson 30 5-9 0-0 1-7 2 3 11 T Best 26 3-6 2-2 0-1 4 1 9 Z Planinic 19 3-7 1-2 0-1 2 1 7 B Thomas 12 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 J Smith 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 R Buford 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 J Vaughn DNP - BROKEN RIGHT FOOT _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 41-87 8-10 9-39 34 25 99 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.471, FT-.800. 3-Point Goals: 9-21, .429 (V Carter 7-9, J Kidd 0-2, C Robinson 1-4, T Best 1-3, Z Planinic 0-3). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots:3 (C Robinson, V Carter, J Collins). Turnovers:15 (J Kidd 4, V Carter 2, J Collins 2, B Thomas 2, N Krstic 2, C Robinson, Z Planinic, T Best). Steals: 15 (C Robinson 5, V Carter 4, Z Planinic 3, T Best 2, J Kidd). ------------------------------------------- BOSTON 19 25 19 23 - 86 NEW JERSEY 37 18 30 14 - 99 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Boston - 2 (COACH Rivers 2 (ejected), 10:19 1st; A Walker, 7:03 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 15,103. T: 2:05. Officials: Eddie F. Rush, Gary Zielinski, Tim Donaghy.


Extended Box

BOSTON (86) AT NEW JERSEY (99) BOSTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === P PIERCE F 32 6-13 3-5 1 5 6 4 3 1 4 16 A WALKER F 25 3-6 0-0 1 1 2 2 3 0 3 6 R LAFRENTZ C 30 4-10 1-1 1 7 8 0 0 0 1 9 D WEST G 22 3-7 0-0 0 2 2 1 2 2 1 8 G PAYTON G 25 2-5 0-0 0 1 1 8 0 0 1 4 R DAVIS 32 4-13 6-6 2 4 6 5 1 1 3 14 A JEFFERSON 17 2-5 1-2 2 4 6 2 2 0 1 5 M BANKS 20 2-5 1-2 0 1 1 3 3 0 3 5 M BLOUNT 14 4-5 0-3 1 3 4 1 0 0 2 8 K PERKINS 11 0-0 3-4 0 2 2 1 1 0 3 3 J REED 5 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 T ALLEN 7 2-3 1-2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 6 TOTALS 240 33-73 16-25 8 30 38 27 15 5 22 86 (.452) (.640) TEAM REBS: 14 TOTAL TO: 22 (32 PTS) NEW JERSEY REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === B SCALABRINE F 22 2-8 0-0 4 2 6 5 5 0 0 4 J COLLINS F 24 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 3 0 2 2 N KRSTIC C 28 7-15 3-3 2 6 8 0 4 0 2 17 V CARTER G 36 18-32 2-3 1 6 7 3 2 4 2 45 J KIDD G 37 2-6 0-0 1 8 9 17 3 1 4 4 C ROBINSON 30 5-9 0-0 1 6 7 2 3 5 1 11 T BEST 26 3-6 2-2 0 1 1 4 1 2 1 9 Z PLANINIC 19 3-7 1-2 0 1 1 2 1 3 1 7 B THOMAS 12 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 J SMITH 4 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 R BUFORD 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 J VAUGHN DNP - BROKEN RIGHT FOOT TOTALS 240 41-87 8-10 9 30 39 34 25 15 15 99 (.471) (.800) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 15 (18 PTS) BOSTON 19 25 19 23 - 86 NEW JERSEY 37 18 30 14 - 99 BLOCKED SHOTS: BOSTON - R LAFRENTZ 2, P PIERCE 2, T ALLEN, K PERKINS. NEW JERSEY - C ROBINSON, V CARTER, J COLLINS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: BOSTON 4-18 (.222), P PIERCE 1-4, A WALKER 0-1, R LAFRENTZ 0-3, D WEST 2-4, G PAYTON 0-1, R DAVIS 0-3, M BANKS 0- 1, T ALLEN 1-1. NEW JERSEY 9-21 (.429), V CARTER 7-9, J KIDD 0-2, C ROBINSON 1- 4, T BEST 1-3, Z PLANINIC 0-3. TECHNICAL FOULS: BOSTON - COACH RIVERS 2 (EJECTED), A WALKER. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: EDDIE F. RUSH, GARY ZIELINSKI, TIM DONAGHY. A - 15,103. T - 2:05.


Game Story

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) - Vince Carter appears determined to get the New Jersey Nets into the playoffs. The acrobatic All-Star came flying out of the gate, scoring 24 of his season-high 45 points in the first quarter, as the Nets cruised to a 99-86 victory over the Boston Celtics. The win pulled the Nets (38-39) within one game of Philadelphia (38-37) and Cleveland (38-37) for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. New Jersey, which is 11-3 since a March 12 loss at Miami, has the tiebreaker edge over Cleveland and could earn the tiebreaker over Philadelphia when the teams meet on April 17. "We have a legitimate shot of being in the playoffs," Carter said. "If we're together and focused, we're tough to beat. It doesn't matter what seed we are, as long as we get in." The loss was the sixth in nine games for the Celtics (41-35), who lead Philadelphia by 2 1/2 games and the Nets by 3 1/2 games in the Atlantic Division for the third seed in the playoffs. At least Celtics coach Doc Rivers didn't have to watch what turned into the "Vince Carter Show." Rivers was ejected just 1:41 into the game by referee Tim Donaghy after receiving two technicals for complaining about an offensive foul call against Antoine Walker. "He (Rivers) worked for the first technical, but I didn't think the second was warranted," said assistant Tony Brown, who took over as coach after Rivers' ejection. "No coach wants to get tossed from the game. We're battling for a playoff spot in our division and two minutes in the game to get tossed is kind of quick." Brown could only watch helplessly as Carter hit an assortment of rainbow jumpers, runners in the lane, driving layups and high-flying dunks. Rookie guard Delonte West and forwards Paul Pierce and Walker took turns trying to guard Carter, who made 18-of-32 shots, including 7-of-9 from 3-point range. Jason Kidd especially benefited from Carter's shooting, dishing out a season-high 17 assists. "My job was to get him the ball as soon and as fast as I could and let him do the rest," said Kidd, who also had nine rebounds but only four points. In the first quarter, Carter was virtually unstoppable, making 9-of-10 shots, including all five from the arc. "When I woke up this morning, I was thinking about the game," Carter said. "From the time I woke up until game time, the same thing kept running through my head, and that was for everyone to be on the same page." The Nets shot 63 percent in the first quarter and built a 37-17 lead. The Celtics pulled within 52-44 after a jumper by Gary Payton with 22 seconds left in the second quarter, but Carter closed the half with a 3-pointer. The Nets kept the advantage in double digits for the entire second half and increased the lead to as much as 90-63 on a dunk by Zoran Planinic with 10:20 left in the fourth quarter. Carter came up with his most impressive play in the third quarter. Travis Best dove for a loose ball and threw it backwards over his head to Kidd, who dribbled behind his back and dished to Carter. Nearly tripped by West, Carter somehow made a lefthanded scoop shot with his back to the basket to give the Nets a 77-59 advantage with 2:49 left. "I'm not afraid to do it," Carter said. "Nowadays I have confidence in my ability to make crazy, weird shots. A couple years ago, I couldn't have done it." "That's the beauty of being a teammate of Vince, because you see it at practice all the time," Kidd said. "That's why we don't get too excited. The only thing we haven't seen is him doing a flip or something like that." Carter fell six points shy of his career high of 51 points with the Toronto Raptors on February 27, 2000 against Phoenix. Pierce scored 16 points and Ricky Davis added 14 off the bench for the Celtics, who were 4-of-18 from 3-point range and committed 22 turnovers. Walker managed only six points due to foul trouble. "They are great in transition and the open court," Pierce said. "When you turn the ball over, it's tough."


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