The Raptors are 6th in the NBA in 3pt% and if you watched this game, you'd know why. It was the Morris Peterson, (MoPete) show from outside and Chris Bosh show inside. The C's essentially had no answer to either. Both had career highs in scoring: MoPete had 37 and Bosh had 26/11. Bosh dominated LaFrentz, Blount and Jefferson inside, even when we were playing a 2-3 zone and MoPete.....well he hit damn near everything he threw up towards the rim. It was that kind of night for him.
Paul Pierce, guarded initially by Former Celtic Eric (EWill) Williams started out with 3 for 4 shooting and 6 points by the 9:10 mark and it was 8-6 Raps. Gary Payton got an early technical for yapping with with refs too much around the 9:00 mark. A short time later (8:10) he fed Raef laFrentz on a nice cut move and it was 9-8 Raps. Pierce hit a 3 at 5:10 and the C's trailed 18-15. MoPete, of course, answered only 20 secs later. PP over Alston for 2 and the C's trailed 23-20 with 3:28 left in the 1st. Ricky Davis and Al Jefferson reported at 2:59 and Al was greeted shortly after by Bosh, who scored over him to make the Raps lead 23-22 with 2:29 left. Bosh then blocked Raef. MoPete ended the 1st quarter with a 3pter and the Raps led 29-25 after 1.
The Raptors shot 54% to the C's 38% in the 1st quarter.
RD fed Kendrick Perkins for a dunk and it was 31-27 Toronto at the 10:50 mark. An open court steal by Perkins, who passed to a streaking Tony Allen and the C's closed it to 31-27 with 10:20 left. TA then collected his 2nd foul and went to the bench with 9:40 left in the half. Perkins then had a second steal, which went up the court to Big Al, who was fouled in the attempt. He hit 1 of 2 and the C's trailed 34-31. Another 3 pter, this time by Alston and the Raps went ahead 37-31 and a timeout ensued, which saw PP sub back in. The C's scrapped for points until a Blount hook shot at 6:40 brought them back to within 1, at 39-38. A RD fall away in the paint at 6:10 and the C's led for the first time 40-39.
Another exchange of baskets that didn't go in the Celtics favor and Doc took another timeout at 5:10, with the C's trailing 47-42. Blount took a nice offensive charge, but 3 straight Celtic turnovers hurt the cause. RD stopped a 8-0 Raptors run with a basket which left the C's still trailing 50-44 with only 3:25 left in the half. PP got a tip in basket to close it to 50-46, but MoPete then hit what would have to be a shot of the game nominee with an expiring shot clock at :01 and was one step inside half court. Like I mentioned earlier, it was that kind of game for him.
Blount hit FT's with :38 left to make it 56-49 but MoPete hit another 3 pter and at the Half, the Celtics trailed the Raptors: 59-49.
The Raps hit a team record 10 3pters in the first half and shot 53% from the field.
The Celtics didn't help themselves out by opening the 2nd half by committing 5 team fouls by the 10:11 mark(they only committed 7 in the whole 1st half) and the Raps now led 60-50. Fast break points on a PP to GP collaboration got the C's to 64-56 by the 7:58 mark. A Blount hook at 7:24 and the C's were inching closer at 64-58. Timeout Raptors.
Alston came out of the break and hit a 3pter. 2 PP FT's and a Waltah 3pter later and the score was 70-64 with 5:50 left. Another Alston 3 at 4:46 and the Raps started to pull away again, 76-64. A PP score got the C's back to 10 and 2 RD FT's made it 76-68 (He probably would have had a 3 pt play had he not tried to cock the ball back so far for the highlight dunk, giving MoPete the chance to knock the ball away, while fouling him). PP took a charge on Alston, which was Skip's 4th at 2:47. PP then scored a dozen seconds later and the C's trailed 79-70.
Waltah blocked Bosh at 1:43 (one of the few times Bosh was stopped). I want to take a minute to give Waltah a little bit of props. I have to question the timing and duration of when he played tonight(20 mins), but he was ready when called and played a decent game, including 6pts, 4rbs, 1 asst and 1 blk.
MoPete then took his game inside and while slashing to the hole made another circus shot, while falling to the floor. The Raps now led 82-70. Waltah hit a 3pter and a Banks steal and pass to TA, who fed RD for an oop and the C's ended the 3rd trailing by 11: 84-73.
The Raps shot 12/23 from 3pt land through 3 quarters.
Banks to RD on a hard push up the floor, but MoPete then smoked Jiri off the dribble and the Raps still led by double digits, 88-78. RD scored 2 at 9:11 and the C's got it into single digits at 89-80. Of Course, MoPete then hit another 3, this time with Waltah firmly in his face at 8:50. RD came off a screen to score at 8:10 and the C's trailed 94-84. PP to Banks and RD for another 2 and at 6:27 the C's trailed 94-88.
At the 5:00 mark, Raptors fans lowered themselves by protesting a foul call that sent Raef to the line by throwing debris on the floor. Raef made both FT's anyways. PP then went to the hole and was fouled, but only converted 1 of 2, missing his first FT of the game, making the Raps lead 97-91 with 4:20 left. However, the C's then went dry, with RD missing a 2, forcing a 3, and then throwing the ball into the 3rd row behind the basket on 3 consecutive plays inside 4 mins. (not sure why I'm bothering to point that out, as a loss means Pierce is to blame no matter what, at least for some C's fans) MoPete added a final dagger 3 before it was all said and done and the Raptors continued to thier defense of the Air Canada Center with a 104-93 win.
Player of the Game: Paul Pierce
23 pts on 8/15 shooting(53%), 10 rbs (9 defensive), with only 1 turnover.