BOSTON (AP) -- Five days after the most lopsided loss in their
history, the Boston Celtics posted their most decisive win in 10
Paul Pierce scored 26 points and Boston beat the Seattle
SuperSonics 114-74 Wednesday night, ending a four-game losing
streak that included a 118-66 loss to Detroit.
"It's good to finally put it to a team like some teams have put
it to us this season," Antoine Walker said.
Boston led 61-44 at halftime and put the game away with a 21-2
run that began the fourth quarter and made it 100-63 with 6:27
The 40-point margin was Boston's biggest since a 132-91 win over
San Antonio on March 3, 1993. It tied for Seattle's fourth-most
lopsided loss and was seven fewer than the biggest margin, 47
points against Boston on Nov. 20, 1968.
"I hope we get the message that we have to respond after losing
by 40," Gary Payton said. "If we don't, well, that says a lot
about our team."
Celtics coach Jim O'Brien got the 100th victory of his NBA
career as they got plenty of backcourt bench help. Tony Delk scored
22 points and former Sonic Shammond Williams added 15.
"We were focused. We never lost four games in a row," Williams
said. "I don't have any anger toward them."
The Celtics go into the All-Star break with a 27-22 record,
fourth best in the Eastern Conference. Their next game is at
Seattle next Tuesday, completing the teams' two-game season series.
"When you have a long layoff like that, you want to get the
last win," said Pierce, who will join Walker in the All-Star game.
"It would have been hard going into the weekend with a five-game
Seattle's last game before the break is Thursday night at
"Tonight it looked like we were already on break,'' Sonics
coach Nate McMillan said. "I didn't see us competing or any fire.
They took it to us and rubbed it in our face."
Leading 79-61, Boston opened the fourth quarter with the 21-2
run. Delk started it with two 3-pointers and J.R. Bremer ended it
with another. That was the Celtics' seventh basket of the period,
four of them 3-pointers.
"I felt a lot better, like I could finally run," said Delk,
who missed seven of the previous 12 games with an ankle injury.
He made 4-of-8 shots from 3-point range. The team went
16-for-36, one less than its season high for 3-pointers made and
matching its high for attempts.
"We can't beat teams like this when they're hitting wide-pen
jump shots," Payton said. "My little son could make those."
It was the first meeting between the teams since an offseason
trade sent Williams and Vin Baker to Boston for Kenny Anderson,
Vitaly Potapenko and Joseph Forte. Baker missed the game with
lightheadedness, while Anderson, Potapenko and Forte combined for
Boston took control in the second period when it outscored
Seattle 34-15 in the last 11 minutes. The Sonics scored the first
four points of the second quarter for a 29-27 lead, then faltered
as the Celtics consistently passed underneath for easy baskets.
Walker started the run with a 3-pointer and a driving layup and
Pierce ended it with a dunk on which he left the floor just after
crossing the foul line.
Payton received three stitches for a lacerated lip and gum
in the second quarter and returned to start the third. ... The
Celtics had six scorers in double figures for the fourth time this
season and finished with a season-low six turnovers. ... Anderson,
traded for Baker, got an ovation when he entered the game with 4:21
left in the first quarter.