BOSTON, Dec. 3 (Ticker) -- Mark Blount scored a season-high 22 points on 11-of-15 shooting as the Boston Celtics rallied for their third straight victory, a 91-89 win over the Toronto Raptors.

Blount also made a critical defensive play in the waning moments, blocking a driving layup by Vince Carter with five seconds remaining.

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Boston rallied from a 14-point deficit late in the second quarter to post its third straight victory. The Celtics shot just 42 percent (33-of-78) from the field and missed 12-of-33 free throws.

"It was an ugly game and we didn't play well," said Payton, who was 0-for-6 from the field, marking the first time since 1993 he was held scoreless when playing at least 20 minutes. "We played defense in the second half, and when you do that, it's going to give you a chance to win."

Paul Pierce missed a driving layup, but Blount, who scored eight points in the fourth quarter, tipped in the miss, giving Boston an 89-87 lead with 33 seconds left.

Following a short jumper by Pierce, who scored 20 points, Donyell Marshall's layup pulled the Raptors within 91-89 with 18 seconds left.

On the Celtics' ensuing possession, Tony Allen and Pierce each missed two free throws, giving the Raptors a chance to tie.

But with five seconds left, Blount blocked a layup by Carter, who was held to 12 points. The tie-up resulted in a jump ball. The Raptors gained possession, but Payton stole the ball from Rose as time expired.

"I knew what he was going to do, too," Rose said. "Gary Payton is a seasoned vet and there was no way he was not going to try and slap the ball out of my hand and there's no way that it was going to get called."

Boston picked up its defense in the second half, contesting many shots and limiting Rose to just three of his 19 points in the final 17 minutes. The Raptors scored just 37 points after halftime.

However, Toronto coach Sam Mitchell was particularly upset after the game about the conduct of Rafer Alston and Loren Woods in the late stages of the third quarter.

With 58 seconds left in the period and Toronto holding onto a five-point lead, Woods was hit with his fourth personal foul while battling rookie Al Jefferson for a loose ball.

Alston was slapped with a technical foul for arguing with the officials. After Pierce made the free throw, Woods was nailed with a technical from the bench.

"It was inexcusable how they conducted themselves," said Mitchell, who said neither player would start Saturday's game in Cleveland. "The game was in trouble after those two conducted themselves the way they did. They embarrassed themselves and the Toronto Raptors."

"I think he's just frustrated about what happened," Rose said of Alston. "(Myself) and Vince are the leaders of this team. We're going to weather the storm."

Raef LaFrentz scored 14 points and Ricky Davis added 13 off the bench for the Celtics.