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Two straight losses didn’t have the Celtics in good spirits, but they got right back on track by beating the Toronto Raptors 93-79 on the road. Rajon Rondo returned, too. Happy days are here again! Though Rondo wasn’t the biggest contributor to the box score, eight assists and presence greatly helped. It was pretty close in the first half, though. Toronto scored the first four, before Boston scored the next five. The Celtics took a 13-8 lead, but Toronto quickly tied the game. With plenty of ties and lead changes afoot, Boston took a 24-23 lead after the end of the 1st.
Then the Raptors started the 2nd quarter on a 6-0 run to take a five-point lead, their biggest of the night. Boston clawed their way back to a 38-33 lead, following a few sporadic bouts on both sides of poor shooting. Toronto took a couple more two-point leads before Boston kept a one-point lead, 43-42, going into the half.
Toronto still kept themselves in the game; until 4:25 left in the 3rd, when Ray Allen put Boston up 62-57. From there, Boston stretched the lead slowly but surely, out-pacing Toronto’s buckets with multiple scores of their own. Boston led 71-62 going into the final quarter.
Another 6-0 run brought the Raptors within three, but that’s as close as they ever got again. Boston held off one more mini-run attempt, and took their first double-digit lead, 85-75, with 3:47 left on Ray Allen’s three. Boston never led by single digits again, and scored the next points after each of Toronto’s two remaining buckets. Boston took the 93-79 lead, the biggest point disparity of the game, with 1:03 remaining. Toronto couldn’t get any more points in the last 2:09. One offensive foul on their last possession, and Boston ran out the clock to stay on top of the Heat.
30 points and a perfect 3/3 from beyond the arc really helped the Celtics out. Along with Ray Allen and Glen Davis, Pierce combined for 68 points.
Boston had just two offensive rebounds in the game. Two. And both of those belonged to Jermaine O’Neal. Toronto had 19 offensive boards spread across five players.