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Aside from the 1st quarter, the Celtics looked rather flustered and unable to do much with the ball. Coupled with horrendous officiating (Tommy Heinsohn will be hoarse until the Hawks game Monday with all the yelling he was doing), including a blatantly blown no-call on a foul at the end which directly decided the game’s outcome, the Raptors were able to defeat the Celtics 102-101 in Toronto.
With Rajon Rondo out with hamstring issues (consider him day-to-day), things initially looked okay for the Celtics, when they jumped out to a 13-point lead in the 1st quarter. Toronto cut the lead to 31-23 at the end of the quarter, and kept up the assault from there. With 6:06 left in the 2nd (not even halfway through), Toronto took a 43-42 lead. Toronto led 61-58 at the half behind not only terrible officiating scattered throughout the game, but a massive amount of free throws, and Boston missing free throws when they did get them. Out of every Celtic that attempted free throws, Shaq was the only one who hit all (four) of them. Shaq. And that includes Ray Allen (5/7).
From there, Boston kept trying to claw their way back into the game, but whenever they did, the Raptors and the refs were there to beat them back down. Granted, Boston did start to catch up to Toronto’s free throw total, but they still kept missing too many. Despite taking a 72-71 lead with 4:48 left in the 3rd, Toronto still took an 82-75 lead going into the final frame.
Boston kept fighting back, though, and Ray Allen tied the game at 94 with a three with 4:11 left, and took the lead with another three from the same spot 33 seconds later. Glen Davis made one of two from the line to tack on a point, and Boston got the stop, but Allen was called for travelling, and Toronto put in a bucket to cut the Boston lead to 98-96 with 2:46 left.
After some missed shots (including another missed Boston free throw), Glen Davis hit two big free throws to put Boston up 101-98 with 21.3 seconds left. Ray Allen was called for giving up a steal with 12.9 seconds left after Toronto hit a driving layup, but check the replay. Allen was slapped on the left side FAR away from the ball, but the referees let it go. No wonder Tommy Heinsohn has gray hair if he has to call such biased officiating. Boston even has trouble catching a break at home, but on the road, forget about it. Paul Pierce was called for a shooting foul and missed at the buzzer after Toronto hit both of their free throws with 2.7 seconds left to take the lead for good.
Rondo’s replacement starter filled in admirably. In his 34:49, Kryptonate led Boston in scoring, and hit the first three of Boston’s five three pointers.
Despite the poor play from Boston in the middle of the game, they still stayed in it. I’m not saying that the referees were paid off, but they certainly looked like they were paid off.
“When I think you’re going over the top, I’ll tell you.” – Mike Gorman, on Tommy Heinsohn wondering if he’s getting too heated about the [lack of] officiating.