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Anderson gets loose for season-high 19 points

BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Celtics came back home and found their
winning touch from an unlikely source.

Kenny Anderson scored all of his season-high 19 points in the
first half Wednesday night as the Boston Celtics beat the Orlando
Magic 110-94 and won their seventh consecutive home game.

"It's 2002. (I've got to) get back to being Kenny," said
Anderson, who added seven assists, five rebounds and four steals
for his best game since scoring 20 on Dec. 28, 2000. "(I) got back
to being aggressive."

Antoine Walker scored 30 with nine assists, Paul Pierce had 24
points and eight rebounds and Vitaly Potapenko had 10 points and
nine rebounds for the Celtics, who returned home after a 1-3 road
trip bounced them from the Eastern Conference lead.

"They beat ... us in every way possible. That's just the way it
goes sometimes," Magic coach Doc Rivers said. "Pierce and Walker
hurt us, but Kenny Anderson killed us."

Pat Garrity scored 19 for the Magic, and Tracy McGrady and Mike
Miller each had 15 for Orlando, which had won two consecutive. Darrell
Armstrong had 13 assists and six rebounds, but he also had eight
turnovers and only three points as Orlando fell behind in the
second quarter and never threatened thereafter.

The Celtics, who haven't made the playoffs since 1995, won 12 of
14 games before Christmas to take over first place in the Eastern
Conference. But they lost three out of four on their West Coast road
trip.

"We've played better at home and we've also played better on
the road," Celtics coach Jim O'Brien said. "To be .500 (8-8) on
the road is solid. If you play .500 on the road for the year,
there's a good chance you'll have home court advantage for the
playoffs."

Back at home, the Celtics held a 32-30 lead early in the second
quarter before mounting a 18-6 run capped by Anderson's layup that
made it 50-36 with 5:43 to play in the half.

"That's a different Boston Celtics team," Rivers said.
"They've been struggling over the last couple years, but now
they're playing terrific ball."

Game notes
Pierce and Walker were the NBA's co-players of the month
for December. "That's appropriate. It's good to see that. They're
joined at the hip," O'Brien said. Either Walker or Pierce has led
Boston in scoring for 101 of the last 102 games. Walter McCarty led
the team in scoring last April 15. ... Orlando had been 13-5 when
leading after the first quarter. ... Pierce (27.3) and McGrady
(26.1) came into the game second and third in the league in
scoring.

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