Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 2/5

Game 1: Wednesday, February 5th
Game 2: Tuesday, February 11th

SuperSonics 74

(21-26, 11-15 away)

Celtics 114

(27-22, 17-9 home)

    7:00 PM ET, February 5, 2003

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 25 19 17 1374
    BOS 27 34 18 35114

    Top Performers

    Sea: G. Payton 14 Pts, 5 Reb, 9 Ast, 1 Stl

    Bos: P. Pierce 26 Pts, 8 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    Forty-point margin marks Boston's biggest of year

    BOSTON (AP) -- Five days after the most lopsided loss in their history, the Boston Celtics posted their most decisive win in 10 seasons.

     Paul Pierce

    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 remaining.

    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 Sonics were led by Rashard Lewis with 15 and Payton with 14.

    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 losing streak."

    Seattle's last game before the break is Thursday night at Milwaukee.

    "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 nine points.

    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.

    Game notes
    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 74 114
    FGM-FGA 29-80 (.363) 43-89 (.483)
    3PM-3PA 2-12 (.167) 16-36 (.444)
    FTM-FTA 14-17 (.824) 12-15 (.800)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-43 11-48
    Assists 19 30
    Turnovers 11 6
    Steals 2 8
    Blocks 6 1
    Fast Break Points 2 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 11 (2/0) 19 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Gary Payton Payton
    Points: 14
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 26
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0