Saturday , Mar , 20 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Boston Celtics Team Report – March 20

=== Boston Celtics Team Report – March 20 ===

(Sports Network) – Boston is still vying for one of the final playoff spots
in the East. The Celtics currently sit one game behind Miami and Cleveland for
the seventh postseason slot.

Boston didn’t do itself any favors Friday night, as it fell 120-104 to the
Dallas Mavericks at AmericanAirlines Center. The Celtics kept it close for a
good portion of the contest, but faded in the final stanza.

Mark Blount continued his solid play with 29 points and 10 rebounds, but it
wasn’t enough to lift the Celtics past Dallas. Chucky Atkins registered 19
points and Paul Pierce added 17 in the fast-paced loss. It was the first time
in six outings that Pierce failed to score at least 21 points.

The Celtics lost despite shooting 50.7 percent from the field, including 5-
of-16 (.313) from three-point range. Boston was hurt by its inability to avoid
crucial mistakes, as it committed 17 turnovers, which led to 26 Dallas points.

Dallas had its way with the Boston defense, drilling nearly 53 percent of its
attempts from the field. The Mavericks also outrebounded the Celtics, 46-27,
in the contest.

The Celtics have still won four of their last five road contests. For the
year, Boston is 16-19 on foreign hardwood.

Boston gets no break today, as it must remain on the road against the rock
solid San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio has owned the Celtics in recent years,
winning 12 straight and 18 of the last 19 meetings.

The Spurs have won 12 consecutive home tilts over the Celtics.