Celtics hold off Raptors
Boston, MA (Sports Network) – Paul Pierce had 23 points and eight assists, and
Al Jefferson finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, as the Boston Celtics
beat the Toronto Raptors, 95-87 at TD Banknorth Garden
Delonte West added 18 points and Rajon Rondo had 16 points and eight assists
for Boston, which snapped a three-game skid.
T.J. Ford scored 28 points and dished out nine assists before fouling out for
the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors, who had won two straight and six of
eight games coming in. Anthony Parker had 16 points and Chris Bosh finished
with 15 points, but shot just 5-of-19 from the field. He also pulled down 11
Jorge Garbajosa had five points and five rebounds for the Raptors before
leaving the game on a stretcher with 4:31 left in the fourth quarter. He
injured his left ankle while attempting to block a Jefferson dunk.
Trailing 78-66, Toronto went on a 8-2 run, capped by a Bosh layup to pull
within six, 80-74 with 2:59 to go.
Moments later a Ford three cut the margin to five, 90-85 with 26 seconds left.
The Celtics, however, answered with two Rondo free throws, and after a missed
three by Darrick Martin, West hit two more free throws to put the margin at
eight, 93-85 with just 15 ticks remaining.
Toronto jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but Boston responded with a 7-0 run, capped
by a West three, and the Celtics held a 22-19 edge after one quarter.
Toronto managed to tie it at 34-34 with two Parker free throws. Pierce then
drilled a three on the ensuing possession, and after Rasho Nesterovic hit a
hook shot, Pierce fired in another three to push the lead to 40-36. The
Celtics led 42-38 at the intermission.
The Celtics opened the third quarter with a 13-4 run, capped by a Jefferson
hook shot, putting Boston ahead, 55-42, with a little over 5 1/2 minutes to go
in the frame. Boston led 65-56 heading into the final quarter.
Boston outrebounded Toronto 45-35…Boston went 24-of-27 from the charity
stripe…Boston shot 43 percent while Toronto shot 40.3 percent from the
field…Boston center Michael Olowokandi will miss the rest of the season with
a broken bone in his left foot…Boston is now a league-worst 10-25 at home.