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Blount, Celtics stymie Magic

By Wire services
Published March 2, 2004

BOSTON - Mark Blount had career highs of 28 points and 21 rebounds - the Celtics' first 20-20 game in 10 years - and Boston scored the first 25 points of the fourth quarter Monday night in beating the Magic 117-96.

It was the Celtics' third consecutive win and just their fourth under interim coach John Carroll, who took over when Jim O'Brien resigned Jan. 27. Blount had his fifth consecutive double double, Paul Pierce scored 25 with nine assists, and Chucky Atkins had 17 points and nine assists for Boston.

Tracy McGrady, the NBA's leading scorer, had 29 points for Orlando after playing just two minutes in the first quarter because of foul trouble.

Orlando was within 87-82 when Steven Hunter scored on a putback dunk at the third-quarter buzzer. But the Magic did not score again until Drew Gooden hit two free throws with 4:19 left.

BULLS 92, CAVS 81: Chicago's Kirk Hinrich continues to impress, this time outplaying his more-heralded rookie counterpart, LeBron James. Two days after becoming the first rookie with a triple double this season, Hinrich came close to a second with 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and got a standing ovation from the home crowd near the end of the game. James had 18 points, but shot just 7-of-17 with three rebounds and three assists.

GRIZZLIES 81, SPURS 80: Lorenzen Wright put back his own missed shot with 19.2 seconds remaining to cap a 14-point rally by visiting Memphis. The Spurs, playing a second game without injured Tim Duncan, made only one field goal in the final 9:27. The Grizzlies steadily chipped away and went ahead for the first time on a 3-pointer by Earl Watson midway through the fourth quarter.

WIZARDS 111, HORNETS 106 (OT): Gilbert Arenas scored eight of his 35 points in overtime to help host Washington recover after blowing a 21-point second-half lead. The Wizards scored more points in the five-minute overtime (15) than they did in the entire fourth quarter (10). Baron Davis scored 18 of his 33 in the fourth quarter and overtime and added 11 assists for the Hornets.

JAZZ 94, PISTONS 86: Reserve Gordan Giricek scored 24 to lead host Utah to its fourth straight win. Giricek had his best game since coming to the Jazz in a trade from Orlando for DeShawn Stevenson six games ago.

CAVALIERS: With armed security personnel and the Cavs mascot, Moondog, watching over their safe arrival, 10,000 LeBron James souvenir bobblehead dolls were delivered in an armored truck to Gund Arena and stored before being given away at Wednesday night's game against the Hawks.

[Last modified March 2, 2004, 01:44:59]


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