NBA Game Summary - Toronto at Boston
(Monday, November 10th)
Final Score: Boston 94, Toronto 87
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce's turnaround jumper with 1:39 to play took a 360-degree trip around the rim before dropping for the lead, and the Boston star forward added two more buckets down the stretch, as the Celtics rallied to down Toronto, 94-87, at TD Banknorth Garden.
"I had a lot of energy out there tonight. I've been sort of in a slump lately, but hopefully with a game like this I can start playing a little bit better," said Pierce.
The Celtics, who improved to 7-1 on the young campaign, were carried by a vintage Pierce performance. The Kansas product scored 25 points in the final 15 minutes, 27 in the second half, and tallied a game-best 36 points while also pulling down nine rebounds.
The scoring prowess was never more evident than in crunch time. Pierce's turnaround gave Boston the lead, 86-84, with 1:39 on the clock before Toronto turned the ball over on a pass that Jermaine O'Neal wasn't able to handle.
Pierce than connected again and capped the highlight-reel stretch with a nifty acrobatic layup in traffic with 34.4 ticks remaining, making the score 90-84 in favor of the home-standing Celtics.
Kevin Garnett added 21 points with 10 rebounds and Ray Allen donated 19 points, despite a 1-of-7 effort from beyond the arc.
The major turnaround occurred after Toronto dominated the initial 24 minutes. O'Neal scored 19 of his 23 points in the first half, while Anthony Parker added 15 points and Jason Kapono scored 14 off the bench.
The Raptors held a 46-30 edge with 3:02 left in the first half thanks in large part to O'Neal and horrid Boston shooting. The Celtics made just 34.5 percent of their shots and missed 8-of-9 threes in staring at a 48-36 hole into the half.
Toronto started to come apart in the third, but pushed its edge to 67-59 on Kapono's running jumper in the early stages of the final period.
Kapono's jump shot with 9:18 on the clock kept the Celtics at an arm's length, 71-66, but a Leon Powe slam and Pierce jumper made it a one-point game.
Threes reined over the next several minutes as Jose Calderon and Pierce exchanged treys then Parker and Pierce buried long-distance shots. The result was still a one-point Raptors lead before Eddie House made the Celtics' fans roar with a go-ahead trey.
Toronto re-gained the edge with a 7-2 spurt capped by O'Neal's layup with 3:14 to goal. It was a highlight in a rough half for the forward, who scored his first second half point with 4:26 left in the game.
Allen's three with 3:02 to go tied the game at 84-84, setting up Pierce's one- man offensive show down the stretch.
"In the fourth quarter, they did a good job of making shots," said O'Neal. "Ray, Paul and the others have an incredible comfort level with each other. We've got to figure a way to keep those guys down, especially when we're up 15 or 16 points in a game, especially in the second half."
Pierce had an ice pack on his right shooting hand after the game...Boston made 43.8 percent of its shots compared to 42.9 for the Raptors...Boston committed just 11 turnovers..Chris Bosh, who scored 30 points and grabbed 15 rebounds on Sunday at Charlotte, managed only nine points with seven rebounds...Calderon scored seven points and dished out 10 assists in defeat...Boston improved to 4-0 at home this season...Attendance 18,624.
11/11 00:56:45 ET