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CELTICS ABLE TO STEAL ONE THANKS TO ANDERSON

Kenny Anderson has made plenty of game-winning shots in his basketball lifetime but doesn't once remember stealing a victory with a steal.

"I probably haven't," he said after knocking the ball away from Jason Kidd with 5.9 seconds left on Friday night to preserve Boston's 91-88 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

"I was just trying to stay in front of him. Harass him. No easy passes," said Anderson, who had three steals on the night, double his season average. "I can move my feet with the best of them. But it's just the desire to want to do it (play pressure defense), night-in and night-out."

Tony Battie made a jumper from the lane with 15.9 seconds left to give Boston an 89-88 lead. After a couple of timeouts, Kidd brought the ball down the floor, but Anderson tipped away a pass and scrambled for the loose ball.

Clifford Robinson scored 37 points for Phoenix, but he had only one basket in the fourth quarter. Penny Hardaway added 18 for the Suns and Kidd had 14 assists and 12 rebounds but only two points.

Around the rim

Isaiah Rider had 22 points, including a pair of free throws with eight seconds left, and Dikembe Mutombo had 18 points and 24 rebounds as the Hawks needed overtime to beat the Knicks, 98-96. Allan Houston had 22 points to pace New York. . . . Chris Webber scored 24 points and had 12 rebounds as the Kings overcame a powerful game by rookie Elton Brand (career highs of 30 points, 18 rebounds) and beat the Bulls, 102-90. . . . Vince Carter scored 23 points and Tracy McGrady had 20 as the Raptors beat the Heat, 108-93. Alonzo Mourning scored 26 points for the Heat, who are 11-11 since opening the season 14-4. . . . Ron Mercer scored 24 points and Nick Van Exel had 21, leading the Nuggets past Houston, 104-98, snapping their 11-game losing streak to the Rockets. . . . Shaquille O'Neal scored 26 of his 30 points in the first half as the Lakers ended their only two-game losing streak of the season with a 117-89 romp over the Bucks.

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