Pierce scores 33; streak ends at five


BOSTON (AP) -- It took the Boston Celtics 15 games to find their
offense. Now that they have, it shows no signs of going away.

Behind 33 points and 11 rebounds from Paul Pierce, the Celtics
won their fourth straight and snapped the Toronto Raptors'
five-game winning streak with a 114-111 victory Friday night.

"We're playing good basketball right now," Pierce said.
"We're playing comfortably and having fun out there. Guys are
responding. This is starting to come together."

The Celtics, who didn't crack the century mark until the 15th
game of the season in a 106-96 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks,
have now scored 100 or better in their last five games.

"You've got the credit the Celtics for playing great
basketball," Raptors head coach Kevin O'Neill said. "Fourth game
in a row they've played great. They're playing high octane

Vince Carter, who scored 35, missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer
that would have tied it. The loss was the Raptors' first since
their six-player trade with Chicago. Toronto surrendered 100 points
for the first time in 23 games.

"I think our offense is really doing a hell of a job," Celtics
head coach Jim O'Brien said. "We beat a very good basketball team
that is undefeated since the trade. So, I'm very pleased."

Boston led 96-82 after Vin Baker's dunk with 8:10 left in the
fourth quarter. The Raptors used a 16-5 run to cut the lead to
101-98 on a 3-pointer by Carter, but the Celtics answered with
back-to-back 3s by Mike James and Jiri Welsch.

The Raptors weren't finished and went on a 9-4 run, capped by
Carter's 3-pointer with three seconds remaining, to cut it to
113-111. Pierce hit one of two free throws to put Boston on top by

"This team is an offensive juggernaut," said Donyell Marshall,
who scored 31 points and has scored 20 or more in five of six games
since joining the Raptors.

"They did a good job getting the ball moving. We've got to come
to play the whole game and not just the fourth quarter. We've just
got to put it in perspective. It's just one game."

James had 20 points for the Celtics. Mark Blount had 13 points
and Baker added 10.

Jalen Rose shot 1-for-13 but had 14 assists, Chris Bosh added 15
points and Lonny Baxter had 13.

Game notes
The Celtics have shot 50 percent or better in six games
this season. Last season, the Celtics reached the mark five times.
... Rose, who entered the game needing five points to hit the
10,000 point plateau, had three points ...In 24 games with the
Bulls, Marshall scored 20 points or better just twice.