Final / OT

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/28

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

Celtics 120

(29-28, 10-19 away)

Suns 113

(43-14, 20-7 home)

    6:00 PM ET, February 27, 2005

    US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

    1 2 3 4 OT T
    BOS 30 32 25 19 14120
    PHX 33 22 29 22 7113

    Top Performers

    Bos: A. Walker 33 Pts, 13 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Blk

    PHX: A. Stoudemire 27 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    Suns play without Nash; Amare fouls out in fourth

    PHOENIX (AP) -- In case Boston fans might have forgotten, Antoine Walker likes to shoot.

    In his second game back with the Celtics, Walker put up 32 shots, and made 12 of them, in a 33-point performance to help Boston become the first Eastern Conference team to win in Phoenix this season with an intense 120-113 overtime victory against the short-handed Suns.

    The Suns were without Steve Nash for the third straight game with a sore hamstring, and Amare Stoudemire fouled out with 8:47 to play in regulation.

    It was a wild night with seven technical fouls in the first quarter, rampant trash-talking and Mike D'Antoni's first ejection as Suns' coach.

    "[Referee] Bob Delaney said something to me I thought was great," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "He said 'I would rather ref more games like this than games where guys show no intensity.' This to me is the way games should be, where guys are at high intensity. There were a couple of times both teams went over, but I would love every single game like this. This is what basketball should be."

    Delonte West added 19 points, including the 3-pointer that gave Boston the lead for good, 111-109, with 1:56 left. Paul Pierce added 25 points for the Celtics.

    Walker was an imposing presence in the middle.

    "The first thing Doc told me when I got here was be aggressive," Walker said. "I missed some chippies in there, but I felt good. I mean, I'm getting the ball in the post. As I continue to play with these guys, we're only going to get better."

    Despite his early exit, Stoudemire scored 27 for the Suns. Shawn Marion had 15 points and a career-high 20 rebounds. Joe Johnson scored 21 points -- including a half-court 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer -- and Leandro Barbosa added 18 for Phoenix.

    D'Antoni was ejected with 19.9 seconds to play after he got into a shouting match with Pierce when the Boston star was at the foul line. Pierce had mimicked Richardson's two-fist to the forehead motion that the Suns' shooter makes after a 3-pointer.

    "People don't understand what the game of basketball is all about," Pierce said. "It's a physical war, but people don't understand the psychology of the game. I was just trying to get my team fired up, get our emotions into our game, and we responded."

    D'Antoni thought his team, at 43-14 and just percentage points behind San Antonio for best record in the league, was too caught up in the trash-talking with a team that just climbed over .500.

    "We responded, and we shouldn't do it," D'Antoni said. "We're the best team in the league. We have the best record, and we responded to a sub-par team. That's our fault, and that's our lack of focus, a lack of 'Just say what you want.' We just fell into kind of a trap."

    Phoenix had won the first two without Nash, but coming off a 124-123 victory in Dallas on Saturday night, they couldn't hold off the remodeled Celtics, 2-0 since the trade that brought Walker back to Boston on Thursday. It was the Suns' first loss in 13 games at home against Eastern Conference teams.

    Even without its two biggest stars, Phoenix rallied to send the game into overtime.

    Marion's rebound basket tied it at 100, then Pierce threw the ball away and Quentin Richardson scored on a layup to give the Suns their first lead of the second half, 102-100, with 2:14 to play. After another Boston turnover, Richardson rebounded his miss for a basket to put Phoenix ahead 104-100 with 2:10 left.

    Walker's left-handed hook tied it at 104 with 1:20 to go, then Marion made a short jumper, and Pierce's two free throws tied it at 106 with 36.6 seconds remaining.

    Johnson threw up an air ball under pressure, Walker missed from inside and the fourth quarter ended.

    After West's 3-pointer, Ricky Davis -- who scored 16 points -- made two free throws, then Walker scored inside to make it 115-110 with a minute to go.

    "We just ran out of juice," Marion said.

    Seven technicals were called in a 2:31 span in the first quarter. A double-technical went against Pierce and Richardson with 7:03 to play, then came a whopping quadruple technical after a pileup under the Celtics' basket involving West and Walker of Boston, and Stoudemire and Johnson for Phoenix.

    In between, Kendrick Perkins got one for comments he made from the Boston bench.

    Game notes


    The Suns don't play again until Thursday night, when they face Detroit. Nash is expected to return for that game, D'Antoni said. ... Tony Allen sat out the game for Boston with a mild right ankle sprain. Because of the two trades the Celtics made on Thursday, Boston had only nine players in uniform. ... The Celtics were 2-2 on their western road trip.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    BOS
    PHX
    Points 120 113
    FGM-FGA 42-95 (.442) 39-97 (.402)
    3PM-3PA 7-18 (.389) 6-23 (.261)
    FTM-FTA 29-36 (.806) 29-40 (.725)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-55 21-56
    Assists 17 21
    Turnovers 15 20
    Steals 10 8
    Blocks 11 5
    Fast Break Points 19 14
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (4/0) 27 (4/0)
    Largest Lead 12 6

    Top Performers

    Boston
    Phoenix
    Antoine Walker Walker
    Points: 33
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2
    Amar'e Stoudemire Stoudemire
    Points: 27
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0