Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Celtics 112, Raptors 88
By Chris Forsberg
David Butler II/USA TODAY SportsBOSTON -- Rapid reaction after the Boston Celtics defeated the Toronto Raptors 112-88 on Wednesday night at TD Garden:
Chris Wilcox delivers a thunderous first-half jam against the Raptors.
THE NITTY GRITTY
Jeff Green scored a team-high 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting to go along with six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block, while Jason Terry (12 points, 7 assists) and Jordan Crawford (12 points, 3 assists) aided a solid bench output. Celtics veterans Paul Pierce (15 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) and Kevin Garnett (12 points, 7 rebounds) enjoyed breezy milestone-filled nights as Boston put seven players in double figures overall. Rudy Gay scored a team-high 19 points on 7-of-19 shooting, while DeMar DeRozan added 17 points on 5-of-13 shooting to pace the Raptors.
Toronto had knocked a 13-point deficit down to six after a DeRozan dunk with 4:46 to play in the third quarter. But Boston closed out the frame on a 17-4 run keyed by a reserve-heavy lineup that had balanced output from Avery Bradley (5 points), Jason Terry (4), Chris Wilcox (3) and Jordan Crawford (3) as the unit made five of their final six shots in the quarter (while Toronto missed eight of its final nine). Boston led 81-62 heading to the final frame.
KG LEAPFROGS JERRY WEST ...
Garnett leapfrogged Jerry West while moving into 15th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. For his 18-year career, Garnett now has 25,201 points. Garnett entered Wednesday's game three points behind West and made his move with a little bank shot with 10:03 to play in the second quarter. Garnett's accomplishment was acknowledged on the JumboTron during the next timeout and he received a standing ovation from the crowd. Next in his sights: Reggie Miller at 25,279 points.
... AND PIERCE JUMPS BARKLEY
Pierce capped a milestone night for the veteran C's by moving past Charles Barkley and into 20th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. For his 15-year career, Pierce now has 23,763 points. Pierce entered Wednesday's game 10 points shy of Barkley and a third-quarter free throw pushed him ahead. Pierce's accomplishment was acknowledged on the JumboTron during the next timeout and he received a standing ovation from the crowd. Next in his sights: Allen Iverson at 24,368 points.
Terry, frustrated after losing possession of the ball out of bounds, picked up an odd technical foul late in the first quarter for swatting the ball back into the crowd when a fan tried to throw it back onto the court. It was Terry's third technical foul of the season. ... Sebastian Telfair, hounded for much of his playing time by Avery Bradley, picked up two technical fouls, including one before the start of the fourth quarter that led to his ejection.
WHAT IT MEANS
Nothing like a visit from the Raptors to cure what ails Boston. One night after a dismal effort in Charlotte, the Celtics got incredibly balanced output, including a third-quarter bench spark that tore the game open. Garnett played a breezy 20 minutes and got to enjoy Gino dancing at the final TV timeout, while Pierce eased his way back in after getting the night off against the Bobcats. The Celtics have two days off before a rare Saturday night game at the Garden (a rematch with those Bobcats). Boston will take Thursday off after the back-to-back and will get to work with what coach Doc Rivers termed a much-needed practice on Friday.