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Archive for Thursday, November 11, 2004

Pierce hits winner at buzzer

Celtics standout overcomes shot to mouth

November 11, 2004

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— Paul Pierce left the Portland Trail Blazers feeling the pain of a last-second loss.

Pierce returned from taking a hit in the mouth in the final minute to make a 17-foot fallaway jumper as time expired that gave the Boston Celtics a 90-88 victory over the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

Pierce played wearing a mouth guard following seven hours of dental surgery Monday after being hit with an elbow in Saturday's game at New York. He was down after getting hit in the mouth during a battle for a rebound with 34 seconds left against Portland.

But after slowly walking over to the bench with the trainer during a timeout, Pierce came back out for the final possession.

"I got poked in the eye (too)," Pierce said. "I took a bit of a beating there at the end, but paid them back."

Gary Payton scored 15 points for Boston and became the 29th player in NBA history to reach 20,000. It was the first home win for coach Doc Rivers.

Zach Randolph of the Trail Blazers hit the second of two free throws to tie it at 88 with 19 seconds left. Celtics guard Ricky Davis gave the ball to Pierce at the top of the key. Pierce then motioned for his teammates to clear out before hitting the game-winner from the left side.

"If I was new to the league, I'd be surprised," Boston center Mark Blount said. "That's what he does. That's why I walked off the floor when he took the shot."

Pierce led the Celtics with 20 points, and Raef LaFrentz had 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Boston's Paul Pierce is lifted by teammates, from left, Walter
McCarty, Marcus Banks, Gary Payton and Raef LaFrentz after hitting
the game-winning shot at the buzzer. The Celtics defeated the Trail
Blazers, 90-88, Wednesday night in Boston.

Boston's Paul Pierce is lifted by teammates, from left, Walter McCarty, Marcus Banks, Gary Payton and Raef LaFrentz after hitting the game-winning shot at the buzzer. The Celtics defeated the Trail Blazers, 90-88, Wednesday night in Boston.

"I wasn't sure what kind of vision he had," LaFrentz said. "He got hit pretty hard in the face."

Randolph led the Trail Blazers with 22 points and eight rebounds, while Darius Miles had 21 points, 14 in the fourth quarter.

Portland lost its first game of a three-game road trip when Toronto's Vince Carter nailed a three-pointer late in a 101-97 loss.

Cavs 114, Suns 109, OT

Cleveland -- On his souvenir bobblehead night, Zydrunas Ilgauskas shook Gund Arena and Phoenix. Cleveland's 7-foot-3 center drained three long jumpers, including a tying three-pointer at the end of regulation, and the Cavaliers rallied for an overtime victory against Phoenix, the Suns' first loss this season. LeBron James scored a season-high 38 points.

Drew Gooden had 16 points and a career-high 21 rebounds for Cleveland, which outscored Phoenix 31-12 over the final 10:04 to force OT.

Raptors 104, Jazz 95

Salt Lake City -- Chris Bosh scored 20 points, and Rafer Alston hit a key three-pointer down the stretch to lead Toronto past Utah for the Jazz's first loss of the season.

76ers 108, Nets 100, OT

Philadelphia -- Allen Iverson hit the tying jumper with 7.2 seconds left in regulation, and Corliss Williamson scored seven of his 15 points in overtime to lead Philadelphia over New Jersey.

Marc Jackson added 19 points and Kyle Korver 15 for the Sixers, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Philadelphia scored the first seven points of overtime and held on for its first home win of the season.

Wizards 106, Magic 96

Washington -- Larry Hughes and Antawn Jamison each scored 26 points, leading Washington over Orlando. Jarvis Hayes added 15 points for the Wizards, who snapped a two-game skid and won at home for the first time this season.

Clippers 102, Pacers 68

Indianapolis -- Elton Brand had 19 points and 16 rebounds, and Los Angeles handed Indiana the most lopsided home loss in franchise history. The Clippers outscored the Pacers 31-7 in the second quarter, holding Indiana (4-1) to a franchise-low for points in a quarter.

Center Scot Pollard missed the game because of a sore lower back, and Jonathan Bender, who was expected to return after missing the previous three games because of a sore left knee, came down with a viral infection and was out.

Spurs 91, Warriors 71

San Antonio -- Tim Duncan had 23 points and 18 rebounds, and Manu Ginobili added 22 points to lead San Antonio over winless Golden State. Golden State (0-5) cut the lead to seven points after the third quarter, but Duncan and Ginobili combined for 11 points in the final period to seal the victory.

Bucks 102, Bobcats 100

Milwaukee -- Desmond Mason scored 31 points, including three free throws in the final minute, and Michael Redd added 26 to help Milwaukee rally past Charlotte. Keith Van Horn had 23 points for the Bucks, who trailed most of the night against the expansion Bobcats.

Grizzlies 110, Lakers 87

Memphis, Tenn. -- Pau Gasol scored 22 points, and Shane Battier added 18 as Memphis won for the first time this season. Kobe Bryant had 20 points on 4-for-19 shooting for Los Angeles, which shot 37 percent.

Sonics 108, Kings 78

Seattle -- Ray Allen scored 20 points, and Rashard Lewis added 18, leading Seattle to its fourth consecutive victory. The Sonics, who won only 37 games last season and missed the playoffs for the second straight year, received 16 points and 13 rebounds from reserve power forward Danny Fortson.

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