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Kevin Garnett scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in just 26 minutes of game play as the Celtics notched their fifth straight win by beating the Raptors in Toronto, 99-95.
The Celtics trailed by 10 after three quarters, but Leandro Barbosa would not let his team fold. Barbosa scored 12 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter in a variety of ways. Barbosa scored on layups, three pointers, and and-1’s in one of his most productive quarters as a Celtic.
Rudy Gay led the charge for the Raptors and finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Gay scored just two points on 1-for-8 shooting in the fourth quarter and turned it over three times in the final frame. Kyle Lowry added 17 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds for the Raptors.
The Celtics reverted to their bad habits in the third quarter of this one by playing lax defense, throwing lazy passes, and dribbling out the shot clock. The Raptors closed the third quarter on a 17-4 run and looked to be on their way to an easy home victory.
Barbosa’s heroics, coupled with Jeff Green’s stifling defense on Gay, helped the Celtics open the fourth on a 10-0 run. Down the stretch, the Celtics fed Garnett in the post and played frenetic defense to seal the victory.
All five Celtics starters scored in double figures, headlined by Garnett and 15 points from Courtney Lee. Paul Pierce once again flirted with a triple-double and recorded 12 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists despite shooting just 2-for-11.
The Celtics look to keep their momentum going when they ‘welcome’ Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers to Boston on Thursday night. The Lakers will be without Pau Gasol who found out today in Boston that he has a partial tear in his plantar fascia and will miss 4-6 weeks.