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NBA Game Summary - Seattle at Boston

(Friday, March 9th)

Final Score: Boston 118, Seattle 103

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Al Jefferson scored 31 points, pulled down 16 rebounds and dished out four assists, and the Boston Celtics overcame a 13- point deficit with a 17-0 run in the third quarter to top the Seattle SuperSonics, 118-103, at TD Banknorth Garden.

Paul Pierce had 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and Rajon Rondo chipped in 20 points for the Celtics, who have won five of six after losing 22 of 23. Gerald Green added 19 points for Boston, which was missing starting guard Delonte West and reserve forward Ryan Gomes. West is recovering from a mild concussion suffered in the third quarter of the Celtics' 111-80 loss to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Gomes sat out with a sore left foot.

Ray Allen had a team-high 22 points for Seattle, which has lost two straight. Nick Collison and Earl Watson each donated 17 points for the Sonics. Collison added eight rebounds, Rashard Lewis finished with 16 points, and Chris Wilcox had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

"We didn't guard anyone all night long," said Sonics head coach Bob Hill. "We were unable to follow the game plan. Pick and roll defense was awful. Jefferson, we were supposed to block early and double-team him. We got that done some but they made us pay for that. They couldn't stop us in the first half. All it was was trading baskets. We just didn't guard anyone."

The game was tightly played in the first quarter, until Seattle opened a 28-24 lead on a pair of Wilcox free throws at 3:43. The Sonics were up 35-31 after 12 minutes and opened a wider margin in the second stanza.

Johan Petro's jumper at 11:02 ignited a 10-3 run for Seattle, and the reserve center capped the spurt with a hook shot at 8:54 as the Sonics opened a 45-34 cushion.

Seattle led 66-57 at intermission.

The Sonics continued to pour it on after the break, as Lewis' trey at 6:41 made it 79-67. Boston battled back, however, using a 17-0 run to pull ahead. Jefferson's hook shot at 2:15 gave the Celtics the lead for good, and the team carried an 84-82 edge into the fourth quarter.

It was all Boston after that point, as the Celtics opened an 11-point margin, 101-90, on Jefferson's driving layup with 7:56 remaining. Seattle pulled within nine down the stretch, but never got any closer.

"I guess we finally listened to what (head coach) Doc (Rivers) was talking about," said Jefferson. "He's been preaching all year. If we're going to win games, it's going to be defense. Everybody needs to lead, every team, every guy. It's not about who gets the most points (individually) but who got the most stops."

Game Notes

X-Rays on Gomes' left foot were negative, and the Celtics said he will be re- evaluated on Sunday...Seattle's three-game winning streak against Boston was snapped...The Sonics were playing without forward Danny Fortson, who was suspended for two games on Friday for conduct detrimental to the team. The Sonics are just 7-24 on the road this season, while the Celtics have just eight home wins...Damien Wilkins added 13 points off the bench for Seattle.

03/09 23:55:50 ET

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