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Pierce scores 31 as Boston rips Golden State

2/19/2003

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- With their best Western Conference road
trip in 12 years already assured, the Boston Celtics are looking
for more.

Paul Pierce had 31 points and 12 assists as the Celtics defeated
the Golden State Warriors 125-117 Tuesday night to improve to 4-1
on their current trip with a game remaining in Sacramento on
Thursday.

''We've had a good trip so far and we have an opportunity to
have a great trip,'' said Antoine Walker, who added 17 points.
''Paul did a tremendous job of finding guys and getting everyone
involved.''

Walter McCarty added a season-high 24 points and J.R. Bremer
matched his career-high with 22. Boston also had a season-low four
turnovers, the fewest ever by an opponent in Warriors' franchise
history.

''When you come to the West Coast and play like this there's no
way to feel disappointed,'' said McCarty. ''We have a lot of guys
who can shoot the ball and who can pass the ball.''

Boston won in Oakland for the first time since Feb. 15, 1995.

Pierce recorded his 17th double-double, matching his career high
set last season.

''It was all keyed by the passing,'' said Boston coach Jim
O'Brien. ''We did an outstanding job of finding the open man and
got really good looks at the 3s.''

Antawn Jamison scored 39 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead
the Warriors, who lost for just the fourth time in their past 14
home games. Gilbert Arenas also recorded a double-double with 22
points and 12 assists, as did Troy Murphy with 13 points and 10
rebounds.

''We had a hard time defending the 3, but we also had other holes
defensively,'' said Warriors coach Eric Musselman. ''We didn't
sustain a team effort, or force turnovers, and that cost us.''

As usual, the Celtics utilized their long-range shooting, making
14 of 29 attempts.

''It's the second half of the season and it's time to step up,''
said Pierce, who scored 33 and 30 in two games against Golden State
last year. ''We're trying to position ourselves for the playoffs.''

Bobby Sura's 3-pointer with 3:13 remaining pulled Golden State
to 109-105, capping a 10-0 run, but the Celtics were able to extend
their lead to 10 points a minute later.

Jamison scored 12 points as the Warriors drew to 95-82 entering
the fourth quarter.

''We never got into a comfort zone,'' said Jamison. ''We didn't
do a good job of stopping them and Boston never really let us back
into it.''

The Celtics took control during the second quarter, breaking a
32-all tie with a 13-2 run. They eventually extended their lead to
69-49 by halftime when McCarty hit a 3-pointer in the final second
of the half.

The 39 second-quarter points and 69 at halftime were season
highs by a Warriors' opponent. The Celtics made 50 percent
(8-for-16) of their 3-point attempts in the half.

Bremer scored 14 points in the first quarter -- hitting four of
five 3-pointers -- to help Boston open a 30-28 advantage.

Game notes
Walker played in his 500th career game. ... The Warriors
are the only NBA team to use the same starting lineup in every game
this season. ... Pierce, hampered by a hamstring pull, started his
258th consecutive game, currently the second longest streak in the
NBA. ... Jamison has the third longest starting streak, 217 games.
... Celtics center Tony Battie returned to the starting lineup after
missing three games with the flu. ... Arenas, Murphy and Jason
Richardson were honored in a pregame ceremony for their efforts in
the Rookie Challenge over the All-Star Weekend. ... The Celtics
went 4-1 on their Western road trip during the 1990-91 season.