Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics 112, Raptors 88

Celtics 112, Raptors 88
By Marc D'Amico, March 13, 2013

Key Moment

The Boston Celtics weren’t interested in fumbling away another game to one of the NBA’s bottom-feeders. They made that perfectly clear toward the end of the third quarter of Wednesday’s game against the Raptors.

Boston outscored the Raptors 13-2 over the final 3:25 of the third period to blow the game open and take a commanding 81-62 lead into the final period. The best part about that run? It consisted almost entirely of bench play.

Doc Rivers matched up a fivesome of Avery Bradley, Jordan Crawford, Jason Terry, Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox beginning at the 3:25 mark of the third period. Bradley, the only starter of the group, accounted for only one of Boston’s 13 points over those final few minutes. He let his teammates take over.

Terry led the run with four points, Crawford and Wilcox scored three apiece, and Green chipped in two during Boston’s quick spurt. Six of the 13 points scored by the C’s during those final minutes arrived via free throws, which is an indication of how aggressive this group really was at the offensive end.

They were pretty aggressive on defense, too, led by Bradley’s ball-hawking ways. Bradley and Co. hounded the Raptors into 0-of-6 shooting from the field to go along with one turnover during Boston’s run. Those stops allowed the C’s to get out in transition and use their athleticism to their advantage. Even the athletic Raptors couldn’t keep up.

Boston’s 13-2 run blew the lid off of this game and helped the Celtics bounce back into the win column with a blowout victory. That’s exactly what the team was looking for one night after an embarrassing loss in Charlotte.

Key Box Score Line

Jeff Green didn’t come through Tuesday night when he replaced the resting Paul Pierce in Boston’s starting lineup. Maybe it was the unfamiliar start that knocked him off of his rhythm.

Wednesday night, as he returned to his customary bench role, Green put forth an incredible performance and returned to his customary play.

Green led all scorers with 20 points to help lead the Celtics to a blowout victory over the Toronto Raptors. He scored from all areas, but he showcased particular excellence in the paint. Green cashed in on several difficult layups and even went lefty on one of his finishes.

Scoring has become a staple of Green’s play, but rebounding has not. However, Green reeled in six boards Wednesday night, which at least doubled his rebounding total from his previous three games.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jeff Green finished with game highs of 20 points and a plus/minus rating of plus-23.
  • Boston outrebounded Toronto 40-34.
  • After failing to score 80 points in two straight games, the Celtics scored 112 Wednesday night.
  • Boston scored at least 28 points in each of the final three quarters.
  • Seven Celtics scored in double-foigures.
  • Kevin Garnett tied for the game high in rebounds with seven, and all of them came came in the first half.
  • Six Celtics finished with a plus/minus rating of at least plus-11.
  • Jason Terry led the game in assists with seven.
  • Rudy Gay filled up the box score with 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
  • Boston scored 18 points off of Toronto's 18 turnovers.
  • The Celtics scored 52 points in the paint.
  • Sebastian Telfair was ejected from the game with two technicals after just 14 minutes of action.
  • Paul Pierce made nine of his 11 free throws to help him score 15 points.
  • Garnett and Courtney Lee tied for the game high in steals with three apiece.

Quote of the Night

He wants to be McDonald's - you know what you're getting every time. Same quality, every single time. Fries are always good.
Doc Rivers on Jeff Green's pursuit of consistent play