|Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots 3rd Game, Trades, 9/11 Fallout||Miracles Do Happen! Porcello, Tazawa Outduel Sale, White Sox in Red Sox Shutout||Red Sox Nation Loses with Departure of Don Orsillo||Clay Buchholz Has a Hazy Future with Red Sox|
It wasn’t always pretty, but the Celtics hung on in Toronto to win 115-104. You could tell it wouldn’t always be a fun night when Rondo and Ray Allen committed bad pass turnovers within 31 seconds of each other shortly into the game, with Rondo adding another later on. This led to the Celtics being out-shot from the field early on, and indeed overall; the only reason they were ahead at all was an edge in free throws. Kevin Garnett nearly gave the Celtics a scare when his counterpart stepped on his left foot, causing a momentary injury, but not affecting Garnett at all.
Of greater concern is the health of Hedo Turkoglu, who took an accidental shot to the face from Tony Allen in the 1st quarter, causing a nasal contusion. Turkoglu did not return, and was taken to the hospital for a CT scan. Keep watching the news for updates. Despite losing their second star player in as many days (Chris Bosh suffered a similar injury Tuesday in Cleveland), the Raptors came out swinging, perhaps having their morale turned towards doing their teammates proud. Whatever the reason, the Raptors outscored the Celtics by seven in the 2nd quarter to take a two point lead into the half.
The Raptors can’t take all the credit, though. The Celtics turned the ball over nine times to Toronto’s two; Toronto scored 20 points off those nine turnovers. In the first two quarters, the Raptors out-shot the Celtics 21/47 to 19/36, and 3/10 to 1/8 from three point range. Thankfully, the trend was reversed enough in the 3rd, with the Celtics getting two six-point leads, including one to end the quarter, despite Toronto’s persistence in coming back on multiple occasions.
Boston picked up where they left off in the 4th quarter, opening up a double digit lead thanks to big moments from Ray Allen, Michael Finley, and Kevin Garnett. They needed those moments, seeing as they could not break the spirits of Toronto, who kept coming back. Most notably, DeMar DeRozan dunked the ball with 5:03 left to cut the deficit to six, while all the Celtics around him literally stood there and watched. Seriously, no attempt whatsoever was made to do anything. But, Garnett and Rondo were able to push the lead back up to double digits, and by that time, the clock was too far gone for the Raptors to make another push.
The Celtics may be a team of old men, but all the young whippersnappers had better stay off their lawn, especially after the Hawks lost later in the night in Detroit. With these events, Boston is now tied with Atlanta at 49-29 with four games left, and hold the tiebreaker over them by virtue of being a division winner.
Rondo led the team in points, assists, and minutes, and was instrumental in Boston’s defense of its 4th quarter lead.
Aside from six rebounds, Big Baby really didn’t do anything that impressive in his 20:25 on the court.
“I don’t feel like the day has begun until I check it [Facebook] out.” – Tommy Heinsohn during some colorful 3rd quarter banter with broadcasting partner Mike Gorman.