• NBA.comTV highlights from Raptors-Celtics: 56k | 300k

    BOSTON, Jan. 21 (Ticker) -- Paul Pierce showed yet another facet of his game -- toughness.

    Pierce returned from a bruised right knee to score eight of his 30 points in a decisive fourth-quarter run as the Boston Celtics snapped a two-game slide with a 106-97 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

    With 4:27 left in the third quarter and the Celtics clinging to a 64-62 lead, Pierce left for the locker room with the injury and was not expected to return. But he was back on the court at the start of the final period and fueled a 17-4 run that gave Boston control.

    Pierce hit a 3-pointer that opened an 80-73 lead, then added a three-point play and two free throws to build the advantage to 90-75 with 8:02 remaining.

    Antoine Walker followed his own miss to cap the run and give the Celtics their largest lead. Toronto got no closer than eight points thereafter.

    Pierce also helped shadow Vince Carter in the fourth quarter. The All-Star guard of the Raptors scored 26 points but just two in the final period.