Monday , Feb , 07 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Boston Celtics Team Report – February 7

=== Boston Celtics Team Report – February 7 ===

(Sports Network) – Fending off the surging Philadelphia 76ers, the Celtics
held on to their perch atop the Atlantic Division with a 103-100 victory over
Minnesota at the Target Center on Sunday.

With the win, the Celtics reached the .500 mark (24-24) for the first time
since Nov. 21. Boston also maintained its half-game advantage over the second
place 76ers, who defeated the LA Clippers, 106-104, on Sunday.

Paul Pierce scored a game-high 32 points and Gary Payton added 22 in the win
for the Celtics. Ricky Davis had 12 points and Raef LaFrentz contributed 15
rebounds for the Celtics, who have won three straight games.

Pierce continues to be the Celtics’ rock on the offensive end, averaging 22.3
points (10th-NBA) and 4.3 assists per contest. The former Kansas Jayhawk is
also securing 6.9 rebounds per affair. Pierce has scored in double figures in
47-of-48 games this season. The sharpshooter’s lone single digit game came on
December 9 against Portland, as he was limited to six points in an 89-87 loss.

Davis has been the second-best scorer for the Celtics, posting 14.8 points per
game. Meanwhile, Payton has added 12.4 points and 6.3 assists per contest for
the Celtics.

Against Minnesota, the Celtics shot 44.6 percent from the field, including 3-
of-12 (.250) from three-point range. Boston also hit 26-of-29 (.897) from the
free throw line in the contest.

Boston’s Tom Gugliotta, who played with Minnesota for over three seasons,
missed the contest due to a case of the flu.

The Celtics have a day off before heading to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks on
Tuesday night. Boston will then return home to host the Clippers (Wednesday),
New York (Friday) and Sacramento (Sunday). The trio of home tilts will be the
beginning of a four-game homestand that will culminate next Wednesday against