NBA Game Summary - Toronto at Boston
(Monday, March 26th)
Final Score: Boston 95, Toronto 87
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.
"Defensively, guys were absolutely fantastic," said Boston coach Doc Rivers. "I loved the ball movement as well, with 23 assists. I'll take that all night. I didn't like the way we finished the game but overall, I just loved the way that they played."
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 boards.
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 an 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, hit their free throws down the stretch to seal it.
"Nobody played good," said Toronto coach Sam Mitchell. "We had 19 turnovers. We didn't play the way we've been playing. We threw the ball away. We tried to make great passes instead of making simple passes."
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.
03/27 00:02:04 ET