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NBA: Boston 111, Golden State 106

April 2, 2004 at 10:57 PM

BOSTON, April 2 (UPI) -- Paul Pierce scored 24 points in the second half Friday night and made 17 of a career-high 23 free throws as Boston downed Golden State, 111-106.

Boston (35-41) moved into a tie with New York for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

Pierce sank a 19-foot jumper with 46 seconds left as part of a 32-point effort to give Boston the lead for good at 108-106. After Jiri Welsch knocked the ball away from Avery Johnson on the next possession, Pierce sank two free throws to seal the victory.

The Celtics had a 62-48 halftime lead, but the Warriors opened the third quarter with a 16-6 run to get back in the game.

Marcus Banks kept Boston on top by making a career-high seven steals in 17 minutes off the bench. He also scored 13 points, keying an 11-0 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters.

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