Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/12

Game 1: Friday, November 12th
Game 2: Tuesday, January 25th
Game 3: Friday, March 4th
Game 4: Monday, March 14th

Bobcats 84

(12-44, 2-26 away)

Celtics 104

(31-28, 21-9 home)

    7:30 PM ET, March 4, 2005

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHA 23 18 25 1884
    BOS 27 29 27 21104

    Top Performers

    Cha: K. Bogans 11 Pts, 6 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

    Bos: A. Walker 18 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Boston sweeps all three meetings vs. Charlotte

    BOSTON (AP) -- Antoine Walker is doing his best to take full advantage of his second chance with the Boston Celtics.

    Walker and Ricky Davis each scored 18 points, and Gary Payton added 10 in his return to Boston's lineup Friday night, leading the Celtics to a 104-84 victory over the expansion Charlotte Bobcats.

    Marcus Banks scored 13 points, Mark Blount had 11, and Delonte West added 11 points and eight assists for Boston, 4-0 since Walker returned to the team last week in a trade with Atlanta.

    "This is probably the most talented team I've had play with me in Boston," said Walker, who also had eight rebounds. "How many games have you seen in my career where Paul (Pierce) can take only four shots and we win by 20 points?"

    Payton, who re-signed Friday after being waived by Atlanta on Tuesday, played 21 minutes. He was traded to the Hawks -- along with Tom Gugliotta, Michael Stewart and a future first-round pick -- last week in the deal that brought Walker back to Boston.

    Payton scored six points during a 13-5 run late in the second quarter that gave Boston a 56-41 lead.

    "I like our team. I like who we are," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "I like our spirit right now and I'm literally just trying to stay out of the way of that."

    Returning to New England for the second time this season, Bobcats rookie Emeka Okafor had 12 points and 10 rebounds. The former University of Connecticut star had six points and 11 rebounds against the Celtics on Nov. 12.

    "We couldn't find a flow, couldn't get in a rhythm," he said.

    Jason Hart scored 13 points and Keith Bogans had 11 for the Bobcats, 4-23 in their last 27 games.

    Game notes

    Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney attended the game. ... Bobcats shooting guard Kareem Rush will miss four to six weeks after spraining his left knee Wednesday night. Fellow guard Brevin Knight did not return after sprained his right ankle in the first quarter. ... Celtics guard Tony Allen missed his third straight game because of a sprained ankle. ... The Celtics are 18-5 when they hold opponents under 100 points.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 84 104
    FGM-FGA 31-80 (.388) 39-85 (.459)
    3PM-3PA 6-12 (.500) 6-14 (.429)
    FTM-FTA 16-27 (.593) 20-24 (.833)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-42 16-52
    Assists 22 18
    Turnovers 19 20
    Steals 8 12
    Blocks 7 6
    Fast Break Points 14 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (2/0) 24 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 2 23

    Top Performers

    Keith Bogans Bogans
    Points: 11
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Antoine Walker Walker
    Points: 18
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2