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Pierce, Davis lead Celtics past pesky Bobcats

BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Celtics had to have a great shooting
night to overcome their sloppy play and beat the Charlotte Bobcats.

Paul Pierce had 31 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds and
Ricky Davis added 23 points to help the Boston Celtics beat the
Charlotte Bobcats 109-106 on Wednesday night.

Boston shot 57 percent from the field to win for just the second
time in six games following a 1-4 road trip. The Celtics have won
three straight at home.

"We had to shoot 60 percent to win this game," Pierce said.
"We were getting to the rim all night, we were shooting well all
night, so we just took what they gave us."

The Celtics tied a season high with 24 turnovers, allowing 35
points while only forcing five turnovers for five points.

Orien Greene's driving layup with 57.5 seconds left in the
fourth quarter broke a 102-102 tie and gave the Celtics the lead
for good. Bernard Robinson missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer
at the buzzer.

"I've basically been waiting for my name to get called, my
number to get called and go out there and help the team win,"
Greene said. "I knew they would probably be looking for me to just
pass the ball to the man rolling back, so I just went to the
basket."

Delonte West added 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists for
the Celtics, who won the season series with the Bobcats 2-1.

Charlotte, playing without injured big men Emeka Okafor, Sean
May and Melvin Ely, was outrebounded 45-39 and outscored in the
paint 46-36.

Mark Blount took advantage of the Bobcats small lineup, scoring
18 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Boston led by as many as 16 midway through the second half, but
Jumaine Jones scored nine of his season-high 21 points in the third
quarter as the Bobcats ended the period on a 22-6 run to tie the
game at 81.

Charlotte then took its first lead since late in the first
quarter when Robinson's 21-foot jumper put the Bobcats up 88-87
with 9:43 remaining in the game.

The teams traded baskets before Greene's layup put the Celtics
up for good.

"We are doing all the things you need to do to be successful,
causing turnovers, taking care of the ball, rebounding, executing
our offense," said Gerald Wallace, who had 20 points, nine
rebounds and five blocked shots said. "But the only thing missing
is wins. It's very frustrating."

Primoz Brezec had 19 points and Knight added 18 points, 12
assists and six steals for the Bobcats.

Pierce scored 12 consecutive points for the Celtics during a
4:42 stretch late in the second quarter, including eight straight
overall as the Celtics turned a one-point advantage into a 58-49
lead.

Charlotte lost its third straight game after winning four of
five.

"It was there for the taking, but they made some big shots,"
Brevin Knight said.

Game notes
Kareem Rush left the game in the second quarter with a
sprained finger. ...The Celtics are 4-0 all time at home against
the Bobcats. ...The Bobcats lead the league in steals and forced
turnovers. ...The Celtics have scored at least 100 points in eight
consecutive games.