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NBA Game Summary - Boston at Philadelphia

(Tuesday, April 12th)

Final Score: Boston 105, Philadelphia 98

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce drained an 18-foot jumper with just under a minute remaining in the fourth quarter to give Boston the lead and the Celtics went on to post a 105-98 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wachovia Center.

Pierce finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Antoine Walker netted 18 points and Ricky Davis chipped in 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Boston, which notched its third win in the last four games and moved three games ahead of the 76ers for first place in the Atlantic Division.

Allen Iverson paced Philadelphia with 28 points and 11 assists. Kyle Korver had 17 points and nine boards and Marc Jackson contributed 16 points for the 76ers, who had a season-high four-game winning streak snapped.

Philadelphia remained in the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, one game behind idle Cleveland and one game ahead of idle New Jersey.

Iverson and Chris Webber returned to the lineup for the 76ers after both were sidelined with injuries. Iverson missed one game with a swollen thumb, while Webber sat out the previous five contests with a shoulder injury. Webber played 35 minutes and scored just eight points on 3-of-10 shooting.

"I wanted to come back and be here for a big game," said Webber. "Something's got to change. Hopefully, it will get better soon."

The Celtics were clinging to a one-point lead, before Walker hit a jumper and Pierce sank a pair of foul shots to increase the margin to five at 98-93 with 2:26 left in the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia then received baskets from Jackson and Iverson and a free throw from Webber to even the contest with 1:12 remaining.

On the next possession for Boston, Pierce came off a screen and drilled the jumper to give the Celtics a 100-98 advantage with 58.8 seconds left. After Jackson missed a shot, Payton was fouled and hit 1-of-2 attempts from the stripe to make it a three-point game.

Jackson again misfired on a jumper and Payton was eventually fouled with 19 seconds remaining. He proceeded to sink both free throws to seal it. Raef LaFrentz added two more from the line for the final margin.

The Sixers took control early, scoring 13 of the first 15 points of the game. Korver's three-pointer sparked the early surge. Philadelphia stretched its advantage to 28-15 on Rodney Rogers' dunk with 2:19 left in the opening quarter.

Boston then closed the period with an 8-2 run to pull within 30-23 after 12 minutes.

Korver's three-point shot early in the second quarter made it 33-25. The Celtics responded with a 13-0 burst to grab a five-point advantage. Al Jefferson had six points and Mark Blount added five during the run.

Boston's lead reached six at 41-35, but Philadelphia countered with a 14-3 spurt, highlighted by eight points from Jackson, to move back in front 49-44 with 2:47 remaining in the period.

The 76ers eventually carried a 54-50 advantage into the locker room. Korver ended the first half with 11 points, while Pierce led the Celtics in the opening 24 minutes with 12.

Philadelphia was able to push its lead to nine in the third quarter, as Iverson's layup with 7:05 left in the period made it 68-59.

Boston then rallied and tied the game at 78-78 in the final minute of the stanza. Davis converted two free throws and a technical foul shot with 32.8 seconds remaining to account for the final points of the stanza.

Game Notes

Boston was 40-of-49 from the free throw line, compared to 23-of-30 for Philadelphia. The 76ers missed six foul shots in the fourth quarter...Jefferson ended with 13 points...Samuel Dalembert had 12 points and six rebounds for Philadelphia...The 76ers still won the season series from the Celtics, 3-1.

04/12 23:28:28 ET

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