Thursday , Dec , 23 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Boston Celtics Team Report – December 23

=== Boston Celtics Team Report – December 23 ===

(Sports Network) – Walter McCarty and Marcus Banks each came off the bench
and sparked a key fourth-quarter run to lift the Boston Celtics over the New
York Knicks, 114-109, at the FleetCenter.

Mark Blount scored a team-high 22 points and grabbed six rebounds for Boston,
which has won three of four and drew within one-half game of the Knicks for
the lead in the weak Atlantic Division. Paul Pierce added 21 points for the
Celtics, who are one-game under .500 at 12-13.

Banks ended with 11 points and McCarty had 10, as seven Celtics finished in
double-figures scoring. Al Jefferson, getting his first start of the year,
tallied 12 points, while Ricky Davis added 14 off the bench. Gary Payton
rounded out the double-digit scorers with 17.

The Celtics opened the final stanza with a 21-5 burst to take control. McCarty
started and later ended the run with a three-pointer, giving Boston a 101-89
advantage with 5:39 left. Banks also had six points during the surge.

New York later drew within 106-100 thanks to a Tim Thomas three-pointer with
1:58 left. Then a Kurt Thomas putback with a minute remaining made it a four-
point contest, 108-104.

After a Boston timeout, Davis missed a driving layup with the shot clock
expiring, but Blount tipped home the rebound to extend the lead back to six

Tim Thomas managed to connect on a trey with eight seconds left, but Banks
nailed two free throws with 7.8 remaining to secure the win.

Boston returns to action on Sunday versus the San Antonio Spurs.