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
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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
"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."
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,
layup pulled the Raptors within 91-89 with 18
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
However, Toronto coach Sam Mitchell was particularly upset after
the game about the conduct of Rafer Alston
and Loren Woods
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."
scored 14 points and Ricky Davis
added 13 off the
bench for the Celtics.