Archive for Sunday, March 30, 2003

Pierce propels Celtics

Boston bags 110-106 victory against Cavaliers

March 30, 2003


— Paul Pierce was so concerned about his missed free throws, a triple-double wasn't even in his thoughts.

Pierce scored 34 points and had a length-of-the-court assist late in the game to help the Boston Celtics hold off the Cleveland Cavaliers, 110-106, Saturday night.

"I didn't even think of it," Pierce said of needing one rebound and one assist for a triple-double. "I was focusing on getting a win and knew I missed a lot of free throws. That's what was going through my head."

Pierce went 10-for-17 from the line, but hit six three-pointers as Boston shot 14-for-27 from beyond the arc and broke a tie with Orlando for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

Cleveland's Ricky Davis scored 38, but missed seven of his last eight shots. The Cavaliers lost to the Celtics for the second straight night have lost 10 in a row overall against Boston.

The Cavs, who need two wins in their final nine games to avoid the franchise's worst record of 15-67, had a three-game home winning streak snapped.

Davis scored nine points as Cleveland opened the fourth quarter with 23-6 run to take a 93-92 lead.

Pierce hit a 16-foot jumper to put Boston ahead for good, 99-98 with 2:30 to play.

Antoine Walker later stole an inbounds pass by Jumaine Jones and fed Walter McCarty for an easy dunk. McCarty hit a three-pointer for a 104-99 lead with 48.9 left.

"I made a key turnover," Jones said. "The difference was their key players made key plays down the stretch."

76ers 110, Hawks 89

Atlanta -- Allen Iverson had 38 points, nine assists and eight steals as Philadelphia defeated Atlanta. Iverson finished 17-for-25 from the floor, missing his only three-point attempt. He hit eight straight midrange jumpers before missing an 18-footer from the left baseline late in the second quarter.

Philadelphia took a 38-26 lead midway through the second quarter on Iverson's 22-footer, and the Sixers maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

Nets 109, Warriors 97

East Rutherford, N.J. -- Jason Kidd had 22 points, 13 assists, seven rebounds and five steals, and New Jersey held Golden State to two baskets in the final 6:30.

The win may have been costly, as power forward Kenyon Martin sprained his right knee on a drive to the basket in the third quarter. Coming off consecutive victories over the New York Knicks, New Jersey has put together its first three-game winning streak since the All-Star break.

Spurs 101, Jazz 81

San Antonio -- Tim Duncan scored 30 points as San Antonio snapped Utah's six-game winning streak and defeated the Jazz for the 12th straight time. The Spurs turned a close game into a romp with a 17-0 run beginning late in the third quarter. San Antonio led by as many as 31 in the fourth before the regulars went to the bench.

Duncan, who played only 32 minutes, started the run with a short runner that extended San Antonio's lead to 68-58 with 3:09 left in the third.

Greg Ostertag led the Jazz with 16, tying his season high, and topped all rebounders with 10. Matt Harpring contributed 14 and Karl Malone 11, though he shot only 4-for-15 from the floor.

Kings 107, Bulls 92

Chicago -- Peja Stojakovic scored 19 of his 27 points in the third quarter as Sacramento won its sixth game in a row.

The victory lowered the Kings' magic number for winning the Pacific Division to three. Any combination of Sacramento victories and Portland losses totaling three will give Sacramento its second straight title.

Chris Webber had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Mike Bibby added 16 points for Sacramento.

Rockets 102, Nuggets 89

Houston -- Steve Francis had 18 points and tied his season high with 12 assists as Houston had seven players in double figures in a victory against Denver. The Rockets led 81-68 at the start of the fourth quarter, but the Nuggets got the lead down to 89-85 with 3:36 to play. Maurice Taylor then hit a jumper, Francis scored on a fast break and Taylor added a three-point play for a 96-85 lead with 2:07 to go.

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