Saturday , Mar , 27 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Boston Celtics Team Report – March 27

=== Boston Celtics Team Report – March 27 ===

(Sports Network) – Paul Pierce netted 34 points and added eight rebounds to
lead Boston over New Jersey, 102-93, on Friday at the FleetCenter.

Chucky Atkins added 17 points and six assists for the Celtics, who snapped a
two-game losing streak. With Cleveland falling at Philadelphia earlier on
Friday, Boston moved into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern
Conference by a half-game.

The Celtics held a four-point lead about four minutes into the third quarter,
but created breathing room with 14 unanswered points. Atkins capped off the
decisive run with a 19-footer and Boston led 70-52 with 5:46 left in the

Boston led by as many as 20 at 76-56 when Jiri Welsch scored on a layup with
4:12 remaining in the third.

The closest that New Jersey could cut the advantage to was seven, but that was
in the final minute in garbage time.

Boston returns to action on Sunday for a battle with fellow playoff-hopeful
Philadelphia. The Celtics have won two in a row at home and are 16-20 at home
this season.

Boston has defeated Philly in two of the three matchups this season, but has
lost 12 of 17 and 15 of the last 21 meetings. However, the Celtics have won
two of the last three at home in this series.