Celtics rally defense, tie series with Nets

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Boston Celtics did it with defense on a night when Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker weren't all that special on offense.

Stopping the Nets from running and remembering how to rebound, the Celtics made a defensive stand while taking control in the third quarter and defeated New Jersey 93-86 on Tuesday night to even the Eastern Conference finals at one game apiece.

Walker scored 26 points but wore out his right elbow doing so, taking 32 shots and making 11 -- just two of them 3-pointers. Pierce added 18 points but also had major issues with his accuracy, going only 3-for-20 from the field and 11-for-20 from the line.

The rest of the Celtics combined to shoot 18-for-41, with Kenny Anderson, Eric Williams and Tony Delk each reaching double figures. But despite their difficulty getting the ball to go in, the Celtics made life on offense even tougher for the Nets.

The key stretch took up most of the third as the Nets went 16 consecutive possessions without making a field goal.

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