Raptors Beat Celtics, Snap Six-Game Slide
Toronto 111, Boston 105
TORONTO, March 5 (Ticker) -- Morris Peterson provided the touch from outside and All-Star Chris Bosh added the punch in the paint.
Peterson scored 27 points and Bosh contributed 24 and 10 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors ended their six-game losing streak with a 111-105 triumph over the Boston Celtics.
"It's a really good feeling," Bosh said. "I can just concentrate on just going to the training camp and making sure I get a spot, instead of worrying if I'm going to make it. So now I can just focus, scout the guys that are on that list right now and just get ready for it when the time is right."
Peterson scored on a reverse layup and Bosh drained two free throws to help the Raptors build a 79-70 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Boston's Al Jefferson converted a three-point play to cut the deficit to 91-87 in the final period before Toronto responded with an 11-2 burst over a span of 2 1/2 minutes. Former Celtic Mike James scored five of his 20 points during the stretch.
Paul Pierce, who scored 33 points, had five straight points for the Celtics, closing the gap to 105-101 at the 1:02 mark.
"All of their scorers had a great game tonight," said Pierce, who added seven rebounds and five assists. "When they needed big shots, no matter who they went to, they made big shots."
Holding a six-point edge, Raptors rookie Charlie Villanueva pulled down a huge offensive rebound with 14 seconds left. James sealed the victory with key free throws in the waning moments.
"It's all about finishing at the end of the game and we were able to withstand their push," said James, who made 6-of-10 shots. "Pierce told me with one minute to go that they were going to come back and win and I'm glad we made him out to be a liar."
"Charlie is starting to get the picture by going to the boards and he got a very big offensive rebound for us tonight," Bosh said. "He can score and has a good low-post game and can definitely shoot the basketball and now he needs to concentrate on rebounding and playing defense."
Villanueva had 18 points and eight rebounds and Matt Bonner scored 15 points on 5-of-6 3-point shooting for Toronto, which shot 54 percent (34-of-63) overall and 11-of-24 from long range.
"Matt played a great game tonight," Bosh added. "He knocked down some big shots and played his role well tonight."
Wally Szczerbiak scored 23 points and rookie Ryan Gomes added 15 for the Celtics, who shot 55 percent (41-of-74) but fell to 7-22 on the road.
Guard Delonte West left in the first quarter due to a strained groin and did not return.
"We missed Delonte - he's always key for us - but we still scored 100 points and had a chance to win," Szczerbiak said. "I think you have to give them (Toronto) credit, they moved the ball really well and they made shots and we just couldn't overcome that."