Ford Keys to the Game: Raptors at Celtics
Raptors 87, Celtics 91
When the Celtics are trailing 84-83 with less than three minutes remaining in a game, whose name are you going to call as the big-shot maker? It wasn’t any of the Big Three tonight. It wasn’t even a highly-touted reserve. Tonight, his name was Stephane Lasme.
The Celtics and Raptors went back and forth for nearly the entire fourth quarter, but Lasme’s big play gave the Celtics a lead they’d never relinquish for the remainder of the game.
With Boston behind by one point, Lasme took a pass on the wing and set his wheels in motion to attack the basket for what any normal person would have anticipated as a layup shot. But Lasme proved on this play that he’s definitely not normal. Channeling his inner Michael Jordan, Lasme took off from outside of the paint and tomahawked home a thunderous dunk that threw the entire Garden into a frenzy. The building was buzzing for a solid five minutes after the slam and the C’s were buzzing, too.
Nate Robinson followed up the dunk with a 3-pointer, assisted by Lasme, which put Boston ahead by four with 2:09 remaining. Toronto had a couple of chances to tie the game up, but after those attempts were unsuccessful Von Wafer sealed the win with three free-throws.
The Lasme dunk seemed to energize not only the fans, but the Celtics on the floor as well. They turned it up a notch after that play, and it helped them pull out the win and up their preseason record to 3-0.
Key Box Score Line
Boston's new, enormous center was a hit during the pregame when his name was announced with the starting lineups. He was a big hit during the game, too.
Shaquille O’Neal made his Garden debut tonight in green and white, and No. 36 delivered a performance that anyone bleeding green would love to see on a regular basis throughout this season. He was one of three Celtics to score 11 points, behind only Nate Robinson’s team-high 13, and dominated the paint with five boards and two blocks. He shot 4-of-6 from the field and made all three of his free-throw attempts as well. Oh, and he did all of that in only 17 minutes of playing time.
Box Score Nuggets
- Shaquille O'Neal (17 minutes) was the only Celtic starter not to eclipse 20 minutes of playing time.
- Rajon Rondo's eight points were double the amount that he had accumulated through the first two preseason games.
- For the third time in three preseason games, Boston held its opponent to 40.0 percent shooting or less.
- Luke Harangody was the only Celtic who did not score, but he did grab five rebounds in 13 minutes.
- Jarrett Jack scored a game-high 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
- For the third time in three preseason games, Rondo notched exactly seven assists.
- Toronto shot just 16-of-27 (59.3 percent) from the free-throw line.
- Kevin Garnett had a great all around game with nine points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and one blocked shot.
- Boston finished with 10 blocked shots, compared to Toronto's four.
- No Celtics starter finished with a positive plus/minus rating.
- The Celtics committed 23 total turnovers.