Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 1/28

Game 1: Friday, January 28th
Suns128Final
Celtics119
Game 2: Sunday, February 27th
Celtics120Final
OT
Suns113

Suns 128

(35-10, 18-6 away)

Celtics 119

(20-23, 14-7 home)

    7:30 PM ET, January 28, 2005

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 40 34 22 32128
    BOS 31 17 36 35119

    Top Performers

    PHX: A. Stoudemire 42 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    Bos: P. Pierce 34 Pts, 9 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Boston's five-game home win streak ends

    BOSTON (AP) -- Amare Stoudemire wanted to be more aggressive, and that was bad news for the Boston Celtics.

    Stoudemire scored 42 points, Quentin Richardson added 23 and the Phoenix Suns won their fourth straight with a 128-119 victory over Boston on Friday night.

    "(Amare) just got it going early and they had no answer for him," Phoenix forward Shawn Marion said. "He's a beast and it's easy when you've got No. 13 (Steve Nash) feeding you the ball."

    Phoenix got all of its scoring from six players. Joe Johnson and Jim Jackson scored 17, Marion added 16 and Nash finished with 13 points and 15 assists.

    Paul Pierce led Boston with 34 points and nine rebounds. Ricky Davis scored 19 for the Atlantic Division-leading Celtics (20-23), who had won five straight at home.

    "We were extremely tentative in the first half, but came out and competed and were much more aggressive in the second half," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.

    Boston outscored the Suns 36-22 in the third quarter and cut a 26-point deficit to 118-109 with four minutes left, but Phoenix responded with baskets from Nash and Stoudemire to push the lead to 13 with 3:10 remaining.

    "It's easy when you've got a point guard who passes as well as Steve does," Stoudemire said. "He makes everything a lot easier and just gets the job done. I think Boston did a good job of hanging in there. They gave it a last fight, but we just pulled it off."

    The Suns connected on 13 of 25 3-pointers, with Richardson going 7-of-9 from long range.

    Phoenix led 40-31 after the first quarter, when Stoudemire and Richardson were nearly unstoppable. Stoudemire made seven of eight shots from the field and scored 16 points, while Richardson hit four of five 3-pointers and had 12 points.

    The Suns extended their lead to 20 midway through the second quarter on Stoudemire's layup and went into halftime with a 74-48 advantage, the largest of the game.

    "They have good chemistry," Pierce said. "It's tough when you've got a team that plays with great chemistry. They put their guys on the floor and they understand their roles."

    Game notes


    The Celtics placed forward Al Jefferson on the injured list with a right ankle sprain and activated fellow rookie Justin Reed. Jefferson, who is averaging seven points and 4.8 rebounds per game, is expected to miss four to six weeks. ... Boston guard Tony Allen was selected to play in the Rookie Challenge on Feb. 18. ... New England Patriots running back Kevin Faulk attended the game. ... The Suns shot 64 percent in the first quarter. ... Nash, who leads the NBA in assists per game, had seven in the first quarter. ... Stoudemire scored 50 points against Portland on Jan. 2.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    PHX
    BOS
    Points 128 119
    FGM-FGA 47-85 (.553) 48-93 (.516)
    3PM-3PA 13-25 (.520) 9-26 (.346)
    FTM-FTA 21-27 (.778) 14-18 (.778)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-38 11-32
    Assists 31 31
    Turnovers 20 18
    Steals 13 12
    Blocks 4 6
    Fast Break Points 15 17
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (1/0) 22 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 26 2

    Top Performers

    Phoenix
    Boston
    Amar'e Stoudemire Stoudemire
    Points: 42
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 1
    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 34
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0