Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/17

Game 1: Friday, December 17th
Jazz106Final
Celtics114
Game 2: Friday, February 25th
Celtics109Final
Jazz102

Celtics 109

(28-28, 9-19 away)

Jazz 102

(17-37, 11-16 home)

    Coverage: FSRM

    7:00 PM ET, February 25, 2005

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 26 23 29 31109
    UTAH 27 28 25 22102

    Top Performers

    Boston: A. Walker 24 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

    Utah: A. Kirilenko 29 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Like old times: Walker has 24 and 10

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Antoine Walker could hardly wait to be a Boston Celtic again.

    Walker was in Portland with the Atlanta Hawks when he learned he had been traded back to his old team. He got on the first flight to Salt Lake City and played Friday night without even practicing with his new teammates.

    Walker knew few of the plays and looked lost at times on offense, but still had 24 points and 10 rebounds to help the Celtics outlast the Utah Jazz 109-102.

    "It's great to be back," Walker said. "I am excited about the opportunity to be back and make this work."

    Walker quickly resumed his old job as Boston's offensive leader on the court and led the cheers when he was on the bench.

    "Doc (Rivers) made it easy for me," Walker said. "He told the team we were going to stay away from a lot of sets and keep it simple."

    That meant just give the ball to the Walker on the left block and let him go to work.

    "'Toine was great," Rivers said. "You know what's nice with 'Toine is we had somewhere to go in the post."

    Ricky Davis dunked to stretch Boston's lead to 103-95 with 3:07 to play, but the Celtics had to survive a rally. Keith McLeod made a 3-pointer and added a layup with 36 seconds remaining to get the Jazz within 103-102 before Davis and Mark Blount made six straight free throws to break the Celtics' three-game road skid.

    "It was an amazing win for us. I'm happy for everyone and Mark made two huge free throws down the stretch," Rivers said.

    Davis scored 16 of his 17 points in the second half and Delonte West followed his career high of 17 at Denver on Wednesday with 16 points and seven rebounds to help the Celtics overcome Paul Pierce's foul trouble.

    But the key was Walker and the new options he brought to an often stagnant Celtic offense.

    "'Toine carried us tonight, offensively," said Pierce, who scored 15 points in 25 minutes. "Being that I was in foul trouble all game, that's what we needed. That's why we traded for him."

    Walker played his first seven seasons in Boston and paired with Pierce to lead the team to the 2002 Eastern Conference finals. Boston got him back Thursday in exchange for Gary Payton, Tom Gugliotta, Michael Stewart and a future first-round draft pick.

    "He sure seems glad to be back in the green," West said. "He came up big for us. We thought he had mismatches down low and he exploited them."

    Andrei Kirilenko scored a season-high 29 points and Matt Harpring added 18 for the Jazz, who have lost six of their last seven games.

    "We just seem to find ways to lose games. It's real frustrating," said Raja Bell.

    Harpring's jumper gave the Jazz a 79-72 lead late in the third quarter before the Celtics took advantage of a flurry of Jazz errors. Marcus Banks hit a pair of 3-pointers to power a 20-5 Boston run that was capped by West's 3 to beat the shot clock. The Jazz committed five turnovers and missed three free throws during the spurt, which lifted the Celtics to a 92-82 lead with 8:12 to play.

    "We just didn't get stops. We had the lead and then they got easy buckets," McLeod said.

    The Celtics, who conclude a four-game road trip at Phoenix on Monday, shot 53 percent from the field to move one full game ahead of second-place Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division. Walker will play his first game in Boston on Wednesday night against the Lakers.

    Game notes


    Walker suited up in uniform No. 88 instead of the familiar No. 8 he wore his first time around as a Celtic. Rookie Al Jefferson wears that number. ... Utah's leading scorer and rebounder Carlos Boozer missed his third straight game with a sprained right foot. ... Ricky Davis closed his eyes and yelled loudly in frustration "I can't make a shot" just before halftime. He missed his first eight field goals.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    BOS
    UTAH
    Points 109 102
    FGM-FGA 37-70 (.529) 30-67 (.448)
    3PM-3PA 5-14 (.357) 6-13 (.462)
    FTM-FTA 30-37 (.811) 36-46 (.783)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-32 9-34
    Assists 18 20
    Turnovers 17 17
    Steals 5 8
    Blocks 6 6
    Fast Break Points 15 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 33 (2/0) 33 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 10 8

    Top Performers

    Boston
    Utah
    Antoine Walker Walker
    Points: 24
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Andrei Kirilenko Kirilenko
    Points: 29
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 2