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NBA Game Summary - Boston at Seattle

(Saturday, December 11th)

Final Score: Boston 98, Seattle 84

Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce netted 22 points and Gary Payton had 21 as the Boston Celtics handed the Seattle SuperSonics their first home loss of the season, 98-84, at KeyArena.

Payton, making his first Seattle appearance in a Celtics uniform, shot 10- of-16 from the field and dished out five assists. Tony Allen added 12 points in 23 minutes off the bench to help Boston snap a three-game slide.

"We were trying to win," Payton said. "It was no big deal to win in Seattle. "We are trying to get our team together."

Rashard Lewis led the way with 19 points for the Sonics, who came in with nine straight home wins en route to a 17-3 record. Two of their four losses this season have come to Boston. Danny Fortson collected 16 points and 11 rebounds in a losing cause.

"We have been struggling, losing close games," Payton added. "Tonight we matched up well against them and played small ball. We attacked them and this is the second time we have played we'll against them."

The Celtics saw an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter shrink to four, 81-77, when Seattle ran off seven straight points.

The difference was down to three at 87-84 after a Fortson layup with three minutes left, but things quickly fell apart for the Sonics.

Allen's dunk putback ignited Boston's rally of 11 unanswered points. He had five of the team's points in the final two-plus minutes while Seattle went scoreless on the way to a dismal 5-for-24 shooting clip in the fourth quarter.

Ray Allen's shooting struggles contributed to the futile performance, as he was just 5-for-23 from the field -- including an 0-for-10 mark from three-point land. He ended the day with 16 points and six assists.

The Sonics led 56-50 at halftime, but were outscored by a 24-13 margin in the third quarter to fall behind for good.

Boston's 13-3 surge turned out to be the decisive run. Payton got things going with a drive to the hoop 3 1/2 minutes in and a Mark Blount jumper just inside of five minutes remaining put the Celtics ahead 65-64.

Blount made another with 3 1/2 minutes to go in the third to a 70-65 advantage. He finished with 11 points and eight boards and helped Boston outscore Seattle in the paint by a hefty 48-28 margin.

Game Notes

The Celtics handily defeated the Sonics 102-83 on November 21 at the FleetCenter...Seattle's four-game win streak came to an end...Center Vitaly Potapenko and guard Ronald "Flip" Murray were activated from the injured list before the game but did not play. Rookie center Robert Swift and Damien Wilkins went on the injured list...Boston improved to just 3-7 on the road.

12/12 01:31:42 ET

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