Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/7

Game 1: Wednesday, November 7th
Game 2: Saturday, November 24th
Game 3: Sunday, March 10th
Game 4: Monday, March 11th

Wizards 91

(29-33, 12-18 away)

Celtics 98

(35-27, 19-11 home)

    3:00 PM ET, March 10, 2002

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    WSH 21 32 20 1891
    BOS 23 25 26 2498

    Top Performers

    Washington: T. Lue 19 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Boston: K. Anderson 17 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 4 Stl

    Walker, Pierce combine to lead Celtics to victory

    BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Celtics are getting a taste of the postseason with a home-and-home series against Washington.

    A couple more losses, and this could be the only taste the Washington Wizards get.

    Antoine Walker scored 23 points, and Paul Pierce added 18 as Boston beat Washington 98-91 Sunday in the first of consecutive games against the Wizards.

    "It's kind of a mini-playoff," Walker said. "Now we've got to be ready for their energy level at home."

    The teams play in Washington on Monday night, and the Wizards will again be without Michael Jordan. They fell to 2-5 since Jordan had knee surgery. It is not known how long he will be out.

    "Our security blanket has been Michael," Washington coach Doug Collins said. "But we don't have that now, and we just don't have another go-to guy."

    Kenny Anderson had 17 points, and Vitaly Potapenko had nine points and eight rebounds as the Celtics won their fourth consecutive game.

    With losses by Detroit and Milwaukee, the Celtics are tied with the Bucks for third place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game behind the second-place Pistons.

    "Right now, the teams are so close you have to watch the standings," Celtics guard Tony Delk said.

    Richard Hamilton scored 21 points, and reserve Tyronn Lue had 19 for the Wizards, who missed a chance to move into eighth place in the conference. Christian Laettner grabbed 16 rebounds but didn't score any of his five points until the final five minutes.

    Laettner cut Boston's lead to 93-90 with a 21-footer with 2:20 left. Pierce had his shot blocked by Kwame Brown, then Hamilton threw the ball away.

    Pierce made two free throws to make it a two-possession game, 95-90. Laettner missed the first of two free throws with 38 seconds remaining, and the Wizards never got within a basket.

    The game was announced as a sellout, and most of the fans used their tickets even though the headliner was absent. The game was bounced from national television after Jordan's operation, and it was moved back from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

    For the Celtics, two games ahead of Philadelphia for the last home-court playoff spot in the East, it was an opportunity to take advantage of the weakened Wizards.

    The Celtics led for most of the first two quarters, and Washington for most of the third, but neither team ever opened much of an advantage.

    The Wizards led 73-70 on Lue's jumper with 1:49 left in the third. But Rodney Rogers made a pair of free throws and then grabbed a rebound, hitting Delk on the outlet before he found Pierce with a half-court pass to set up his dunk that gave Boston a 74-73 lead at the end of three quarters.

    Delk got a technical with four minutes left in the second period after hitting a jumper, then arguing with the referee. Anderson got one for complaining about a foul with a minute left in the half.

    Game notes

    Sunday was Brown's 20th birthday. ... Celtics center Tony Battie did not dress for the fourth consecutive game with swelling in his leg. ... It's the first time the Celtics play the same opponent on consecutive nights since 1996.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 91 98
    FGM-FGA 33-74 (.446) 33-78 (.423)
    3PM-3PA 3-7 (.429) 6-25 (.240)
    FTM-FTA 22-30 (.733) 26-31 (.839)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-44 9-32
    Assists 22 17
    Turnovers 21 9
    Steals 6 10
    Blocks 3 2
    Fast Break Points 1 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 29 (0/0) 24 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Tyronn Lue Lue
    Points: 19
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Kenny Anderson Anderson
    Points: 17
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 0