Notebook: Celtics 99, Raptors 95



Posted Feb 6, 2013 11:02 PM

By Duane Watson, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Boston Celtics grinded out their sixth win in a row, defeating the Toronto Raptors 99-95 at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night. The game was decided in the final two minutes by the hand of ex-Raptor Leandro Barbosa, who off the bench, scored 12 of his 14 points in the final quarter. Kevin Garnett led the Celtics (25-23) with a season-high 27 points and 10 rebounds, while Courtney Lee added 15 points. Paul Pierce had a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds, with six assists and Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The Celtics ended the first half strong, taking a 50-45 lead into halftime. Yet the Raptors (17-32) responded in the third quarter with 34 points, behind Rudy Gay and Kyle Lowry's 13 and 10 points respectively, to take a 17-4 run to close the quarter for a 79-69 lead. Boston started the fourth quarter on a 12-2 run to tie the game 81-81, with 7:58 left. Only two minutes later they would take the lead for good, but didn't seal the win until Barbosa's 3' floater found the net putting the Celtics up 94-89 with 1:47 left in the game. The Raptors then proceeded to miss six of their next field goals.

Toronto was led by Gay's double-double of 25 points and 12 rebounds. Lowry added 17 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals. Amir Johnson also had a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds. Andrea Bargnani in his first game after missing 26 games due to a right elbow injury scored 13 points off the bench. The Raptors have lost two in a row at home and five of their last six games.

QUOTABLE: "We're fighters, we're a team that's going to compete for 48 minutes. It's not always pretty and we're not perfect, we're human beings and we play hard."

-- Kevin Garnett

THE STAT: The Celtics turned over the ball 14 times leading to 28 points off turnovers. The Raptors were able to capitalize, but not by enough. The true number lies in Barbosa's 12 points off the bench in the fourth quarter.

TURNING POINT: Barbosa's 3' floater found the net putting the Celtics up 94-89 with 1:47 left in the game. It was a key basket breaking the Raptors momentum as they proceeded to miss six of their next field goals.

QUOTABLE II: "I decided to be a little bit more aggressive, just try to help the team and it worked really well. KG knocked down some important shots, Jeff Green did a great job on the defensive standpoint and it brought a victory for us."

-- Celtics guard Leandro Barbosa on his play in the fourth quarter

NOTABLE: The Celtics have now won six games in a row without Rajon Rondo to a season-ending ACL injury. ... Barbosa played in his first game in Toronto since being traded last March. He appeared in 100 games over two seasons, averaging 12.8 points per game. ... Bargnani returned to the line-up after missing 26 games with a right elbow injury. ... Landry Fields didn't dress for the Raptors, due to back spasms. With the win, coach Doc Rivers recorded his 400th win with the Celtics, he's third on that list behind Red Auerbach and Tommy Heinsohn.

UP NEXT: For the Raptors, Friday @ Indiana, Sunday vs. New Orleans, Tuesday vs. Denver. For the Celtics, Thursday vs. Lakers, Sunday vs. Denver and Monday @ Charlotte.