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Celtics 105, Suns 101

March 16, 2001

PHOENIX (AP) _ Paul Pierce scored 42 points as the Boston Celtics beat Phoenix 105-101 Thursday night, snapping the Suns’ two-game winning streak.

Boston led by three points with 21 seconds left before Milt Palacio hit two free throws and Bryant Stith one to seal the win.

Antoine Walker added 20 points and Stith had 15 for the Celtics, who snapped a two-game losing streak and beat Phoenix for the second time this season.

Jason Kidd scored 31, Shawn Marion 18 and Tony Delk 15 for Phoenix.

Pierce shot 13-for-25 from the field and was perfect on 13 shots from the line.

Boston scored 13 straight points at the start of the second half and built its lead to 66-50. Pierce hits two 3-pointers in the run and the Suns missed their first 11 shots of the third quarter.

Kidd scored 18 points in the first quarter, hitting 8-of-9 shots from the field, including two 3-pointers, as the Suns charged to a 32-26 lead.

Phoenix built its lead to 13 points, 44-31, five minutes into the second quarter before Boston countered with a 14-point run.

Pierce scored 10 points in the run, which ended with Boston leading 45-44 with 3:18 left in the first half. Pierce finished the half with 23 points and the Celtics led 53-50 at intermission.

Notes: Boston snapped a four-game losing streak in Phoenix. ... The Suns, who played Wednesday in Portland, are 7-10 in the second of back-to-back games. ... Phoenix is 15-8 against Eastern Conference teams. ... Pierce had a four-point play, the first against Phoenix in three seasons.

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