NBA Game Summary - Toronto at Boston
(Wednesday, March 16th)
Final Score: Boston 110, Toronto 109
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker tied for team- high scoring honors, but it was rookie Tony Allen who netted the game-winning basket as the streaking Boston Celtics edged the Toronto Raptors 110-109 at the FleetCenter.
Pierce went 7-of-15 from the floor to end with 24 points and added nine rebounds for Boston, which improved to 9-1 since re-acquiring Walker at the league's trade deadline.
Walker also finished with 24 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists for the Celtics, who now lead the Atlantic Division by 4 1/2 games over idle Philadelphia.
Allen added 16 points, including what proved to be the game-winning basket with a little more than one minute remaining in the game.
After Toronto rallied from a 16-point deficit, Allen's layup gave Boston a 110-109 lead with a minute to play. The Raptors missed their next two shots, giving the Celtics the ball with 30.5 seconds remaining. After dribbling out the shot clock, Pierce's elbow jumper clanged off the rim.
Former-Celtic Milt Palacio grabbed the rebound, raced the length of the court and threw up an errant off-balance runner over Ricky Davis.
Davis came off the bench to score 14 points, while Raef LaFrentz contributed 10 points and eight boards in the win.
"The good news is that our guys were upset after the game in the locker room," said Boston head coach Doc Rivers. "And I said, 'We've come a long way when we win a game and the guys had their heads down.' They were upset and frustrated. So that's a good sign.
Leading Toronto, which is 2-2 in its last four games, was Jalen Rose with a game-high 35 points on 12-of-16 shooting.
Chris Bosh had 20 points and seven rebounds before leaving the game early with what has been reported as a back injury. Early in the fourth quarter, Bosh got tangled up with Boston's Marcus Banks while the two were chasing a loose ball. Both players hit the hardwood and Bosh did not return to the game.
Rounding out Toronto's double-digit scorers were Donyell Marshall with 16, Rafer Alston with 13 and Morris Peterson with 11.
"Our guys played hard and played well (in Bosh's absence), and we gave ourselves a chance to win," said Toronto head coach Sam Mitchell. "They (Boston) were on a roll in the third quarter and we basically burned all our timeouts trying to slow them down."
Trailing by one point at halftime, Boston came out of intermission on a mission, outscoring the Raptors 37-25 in the third quarter to turn a one-point deficit into an 11-point advantage, 90-79.
Allen and Walker sparked a 20-8 run in the first six minutes of the third quarter as the Celtics surged to a double-digit lead, 73-62. Allen netted eight points during the burst, while Walker added six.
Minutes later, Boston appeared to blow open the game with an 11-2 run with Walker hitting a pair of three-pointers, while Pierce added a trey and LaFrentz a dunk to stake the Celtics to their largest lead of the evening, 88-72.
From that point on, Toronto would outscore Boston 37-22, setting up the final frantic seconds and Allen's heroics.
Boston led for a majority of the first quarter, before Toronto ended the frame on a 10-4 run, capped by a baseline jumper from Bosh, en route to a 30-29 advantage after the first 12 minutes.
The teams traded baskets in the second quarter as both Boston and Toronto netted 24 points before heading into intermission with Toronto still holding a one-point edge, 54-53.
The Celtics improved to 25-10 at the FleetCenter...Boston has won 11 of its last 13 home games...Boston improved to 2-1 against Toronto this season...Walker came into Wednesday's game averaging 18.6 points and 9.3 rebounds since being re-acquired by Boston...The Raptors, who entered the game coming off a record-setting shooting performance where the team hit an NBA- record 21 three-pointers, went 8-of-20 (40 percent) from behind the arc.
03/16 23:17:24 ET