BOSTON CELTICS AT TORONTO RAPTORS
December 16, 2007
1:00 PM EST (Comcast SportsNet)
Air Canada Centre (Toronto, Canada)
Announcers: Mike An-Gorman-agement and Tommy "Want to Touch the" Heinsohn ; Dr. Laura Behnke (in-studio) ; Greg "Old Saint" Dickerson (sideline reporter)
Celtics Starting Lineup: Allan Tony, I've Got a Rajon Rondo, Perk'd Off, Kevvy G, Da Troof
Raptors Starting Lineup: Anthony "Wishes He Was Tony" Parker, Jose CalderonThePhone, Rasho Nesterovic's Funky Bowling, "Osh Kosh" Chris Bosh, Jamario Moon Over Parador
It seems everytime I do one of these recaps for CelticsBlog, the rest of New England is paying more attention to a Patriots game ... ah well, such is life. Maybe I'll check whether Belichek and Mangini make nice during the commercial breaks.
As for the matter at hand, Rayden (who hit the game-winning shot last time these two teams hooked up in the Great White North) will miss his second straight contest in order to give his ankle a little more rest; no need to risk anything this early in the season, after all.
Concerning the Raptors, they'll be looking for redemption after the 28-point drubbing they received a week ago in Beantown. However, they also will be down one starter, with T.J. "And the Bear" Ford out of action (after a rather ugly fall against the Hawks [youtube.com]).
KG buries an outside jumper to open the game, while at the other end Moon misses and Garnett grabs the rebound; he gives the ball to Rondo, who dribbles upcourt and passes inside to Pierce. Paul proceeds to back down Moon before finishing with the left-handed finger roll (4-0 10:32); that's a good sign.
At the other end, Bosh misses the short "jay" and Rondo comes away with the rebound. He passes to Allen, who brings it upcourt and gives the ball up to Pierce; he dishes it inside to Garnett, and Moon winds up covering him (not a good place to Jamario to be), so KG easily scores with the hook shot (6-0 9:55).
Bosh then tries to work the baseline against Kevin, but Pierce ends up being called for the reach-in foul; that puts Chris at the line, where he makes both free throws to put Toronto in the scoring column (6-2 9:30).
KG then backrims an outside jumper; Calderon controls the rebound and quickly takes it back the other way, where he finds Bosh underneath the basket. He tries to back down Perkins, but young Kendrick sticks to him like glue, so he kicks the ball back out to Calderon who buries the three-pointer (6-5 8:59).
At the other end, Pierce misses the shot (Boston is now 3-for-5 from the field) and Nesterovic grabs the rebound; he sends the ball upcourt to Calderon, who finds Moon underneath the basket. He tries to kick it out to Parker, but Tony winds up with the steal and takes it back the other way.
Not for long, as Calderon strips him of the ball and finds Bosh, who rims out the 15-footer (Toronto is 2-for-6 from the floor) and Perk snatches the loose board. He sends the ball up to Pierce, who passes inside to Garnett, where he's fouled by Bosh.
It was a non-shooting foul, so Pierce inbounds the ball to Rondo, who gives it back to Paul; he drives to the basket, then gives the little upfake to get Moon in the air, and is able to finish with the easy layup (8-5 7:59).
At the other end, Celts play some great defense, and force Nesterovic into shooting up an airball as the shot clock expires; that gives Boston back possession, and Pierce again works his way inside against Moon, where he finishes with another layup (10-5 7:18) ... Heinsohn asks "Is the Moon a star? Not tonight, he's not!"
Calderon buries the jumper to bring the Raptors back within three, then Garnett misses the shot and Parker comes away with the rebound. He gets the ball upcourt to Calderon, who passes inside to Bosh, but he misses the pullup "jay" over Perkins; Nesterovic secures the offensive board, and passes back to Bosh cutting down the lane. He misses again, but the refs call the foul on Pierce, so that puts Chris at the line where he makes one-of-two free throws (10-8 6:11).
Rondo buries the outside jumpshot (Boston is now 6-of-9 from the field), but Parker answers by nailing the trey (12-11 5:13).
The few Raptors fans who bothered to show up (there's a near-blizzard going on up in Toronto right now [weather.com]) try to cheer on their team, but at the other end Pierce is covered by Carlos "Isle" Delfino - who's just come into the game to replace Moon - and is able to draw the foul on Carlos while taking the shot. So, Paul steps to the line and makes both foul shots (14-11 4:55).
Another free throw by Bosh with 4:38 on the clock gets Toronto within two, then Garnett is double-teamed and makes the crosscourt pass to Rondo for the open 15-footer (16-12 4:19).
He's not done, as Rajon strips Calderon of the ball and takes it back the other way; Bosh comes over to try and stop his forward momentum, so he throws the alleyoop pass up to KG for the strong one-handed dunk (18-12 3:59)!
Parker then misses, and Perk pulls down the 'bound; he hands the ball off to Rondo, who proceeds to go coast to coast and takes it right at Parker underneath the basket. His layup attempt misses, however Perkins grabs the offensive board and finishes with the two-hand slam (20-12 3:26); the bench sure enjoyed that one!
Parker hits a three-pointer to try and rally his troops, then Garnett is whistled for the foul trying to keep Nesterovic out of the paint (that was a weak call); the Celts call timeout, and when play resumes Glen "Macrosomia" Davis is in to replace KG (that was his second foul). It's still Raptors ball, but Parker front-rims the jumpshot, and Perk controls the board. He passes upcourt to Pierce, who drives to the basket before making the nice pass inside to Davis for the layup (22-15 2:03).
Kris Humphries-Bogart then misses, and Kendrick gets himself another rebound. He passes to Tony, who brings the ball upcourt before dishing to Pierce; he drives down the lane against Delfino and draws the foul (his second), which puts Paul back at the charity stripe where he proceeds to make both free throws (24-15 1:36).
Jason Busta-Kapono-Ass comes into the game at this point to replace Carlos (now it's his turn to try and contain the Truth), while Bosh takes it to the basket and is fouled by Perk. He steps to the line (these will be his seventh and eighth free throw attempts already!) and makes both of them (24-17 1:27).
However, Parker Posey knocks down the trey with 38.6 seconds left, putting Boston's lead after one in double digits (27-17) ... What a peformance from the C's thus far; not only is their offense clicking (11-18 FG), but they've held the Raptors to just 24-percent shooting (4-17 FG)!
Pierce, Davis, Hugh Laurie, Posey and Allen are in to start the quarter ... "Big Baby" gets things going with a layup, while at the other end Bosh misses the outside jumpshot. Pierce grabs the rebound and takes it upcourt himself, then loses Juan Mason-Dixon Line with the sweeet crossover move to get himself into the paint; Bosh comes over to try and cover him, so Paul just lays it down to Davis and Chris is forced to tie him up. That puts the rookie at the line, where he makes one-of-two free throws (30-17 11:22).
Andrea Left His Bargnani-Door Open then misses the 15-footer, but Humphries grabs the offensive board and kicks it out to Dixon. He tries to take it in against House, however Eddie slaps the ball away and it goes right off Juan's knee and out of bounds!
Boston regains possession, as Pierce is double-teamed, so he kicks it out to a wide-open Posey for the three-pointer (33-17 10:37)!
The Raptors take a timeout to try and regroup, but when play resumes House strips Parker of the ball (he's an equal-opportunity thief) and takes it back the other way; he passes to Pierce cutting down the lane for the layup attempt, but Bargnani winds up with the block. Unfazed, Eddie manages to recover the loose ball and scores on the putback (35-17 9:51).
A dunk by Humphries with 8:44 left in the half gets Toronto within sixteen (the Raptors have now misses five of their first six shots to open the quarter), while at the other end Pierce backs down Parker and finishes with another layup (37-19 8:21).
Bargnani tries to answer, but misses the shot and Pierce comes away with the carom; he takes it upcourt himself, then tries to drive down the lane for another scoring opportunity. Three players wind up surrounding him (you think Paul has their defense rattled yet?), but the refs end up calling the foul on Parker ... It's a non-shooting foul, so that gives Glenn Rivers M.D. a chance to sub Garnett back into the game while Pierce takes his first rest of the night (12 PTs, 4-6 FG).
Meanwhile, Davis is called for the three-second violation, so the Raptors regain possession with a chance to chip away somewhat at Boston's impressive lead ... Of course, they do nothing of the kind, as Dixon throws up an airball (cue the Nelson Munz "ha HA!" WAV file); that gets some booing out of the crowd, as Allen gets the "rebound" and takes it back the other way. He gives the ball to House, who passes to Garnett at the top of the key, and he swings it back around to Tony who's all alone behind the three-point line and buries it (40-19 7:10)!
Oh man, nothing to complain about here ... After another Toronto timeout, Calderon misses the outside shot (the Raptors are shooting just 5-for-26 now!) and the loose rebound goes off Bosh out of bounds. The C's regain possession, but Posey misses the three-point shot and Jose pulls down the rebound. He brings it upcourt himself, then passes to Moon, who knocks down the jumpshot with Allen right in his face (40-21 5:38); hey, even the few shots that the Raptors do make are being contested, me likey!
It's still a 19-point game at the 3:57 mark when Pierce comes back into the game to replace Tony ... Meanwhile, Kapono misses the three-point attempt, but Bosh grabs the offensive board and finds Humphries who finishes with the layup (42-25 3:34).
The meager crowd starts a meager "De-fense!" chant, but Perkins shuts them up with the hook shot over Bosh (44-25 3:10) ... Still, the Raptors are able to string together somewhat of a "mini-flurry" to get within fourteen (50-36) at halftime; I guess the Celts got bored.
And who could blame them? The Raptors aren't even shooting 30 percent from the floor (11-38 FG) ... The only Toronto player who's scored in double digits is Bosh (11 PTS), and he has more free throws made (9-12 FT) than field goals attempted (1-7 FG).
If things keep going like this, we might be able to wrap things up early, get these people in the crowd back to their igloos (or whatever it is that Canadians live in).
The second half gets off to an ominous start, as the roof is leaking near the Celtics bench (that's just great, it's Worcester all over again [parquetwishesandleprechandreams.blogspot.com]) ... Oh, turns out that the snow isn't finding its way into the building after all, but rather that condensation is forming on one of the vents up in the rafters. That's a little easier to fix, so the maintenance crew turns off the vent and - after a 14 minute delay - play is able to resume (whew).
Despite the holdup, Garnett buries the outside shot (same way he started the first half). At the other end, Moon misses the three-point attempt, and KG grabs the rebound. He passes upcourt to Allen, who takes it all the way to the basket and has his layup attempt goaltended by Bosh (54-36 11:21).
Chris redeems himself by knocking down the 15-footer over Garnett, then Pierce misses the three-point shot and Calderon hauls down the rebound. We head back the other way, as Jose makes the nice pass inside to Nesterovic for the layup (54-40 10:30).
A layup by Moon gets Toronto within twelve (hmm, hope the delay didn't cool down the Celts' defensive intensity); Jamario then commits the foul on Pierce, so Paul heads to the line but misses both free-throw attempts (uh oh).
That's not good, as the Raptors regain possession ... Luckily, Parker tries to drive along the baseline and winds up stepping out of bounds. That gives Boston another opportunity to score, and Rondo makes it count by slicing down the lane for the layup (56-42 8:02).
Bosh then tries to take the ball inside, and has his shot blocked by Perkins; however, Chris is able to recover and again tries to take it inside ... Whoops, he's called for travelling (tee hee). Boston regains possession, as Rondo again drives down the lane, but this time he kicks it out to Garnett for the open 15-foot jumper (58-42 7:34).
That quiets the crowd somewhat ... but Calderon wakes 'em right back up with the alleyoop pass to Moon for the powerful two-hand slam (58-44 5:58)!
Garnett then misses, but Allen ends up with the loose rebound and kicks it out to Pierce. He uses the crossover move to elude Moon, then pulls up and buries the 15-foot jumper (60-44 5:27).
At the other end, Tony slaps the ball away from Bosh (that's right, more defense!) ... Pierce picks it up and goes coast to coast for the layup attempt; that rims out, but KG reaches in over Bargnani to tip it in (62-44 4:36).
Parker then misses the three-point shot; Posey grabs the rebound and passes upcourt to House, who passes inside to Garnett. He's immediately double-teamed, so he kicks the ball out to Tony, and he makes a nice spin move around Delfino to finish with the layup (64-44 3:26).
That's better ... After a Raptors timeout, Bosh scores the basket, but House quickly answers with the trey (67-46 2:14).
Parker then misses, and Davis (just into the game) collects the board. He passes to Pierce, who dribbles upcourt, then gives the ball up to Posey. He drives down the lane and is grabbed by Kapono, so he heads to the line and makes both foul shots (69-46 1:35).
Kapono answers with the basket (he's just 1-for-6 from the field), while at the other end Pierce works the baseline against Delfino and is hacked from behind going for the layup; there's no foul called on Carlos, as the loose ball goes off Bosh and out of bounds. That means that it's still Boston possession, but that does little to quell Pierce's anger over the non-call, as he begins to jaw with the official (and rightfully so, might I add).
That earns him a technical foul, and Kapono makes the free throw to get him team within twenty; House then misses the jumpshot, and Bosh pulls down the rebound. He passes to Dixon, who quickly pushes the ball upcourt, then finds Kapono open behind the three-point line and he buries it (69-52 :36.8).
This isn't ending well, as two free throws by Delfino cut the lead to fifteen with 13 seconds remaining ... Celts go for the final shot, as Rondo nearly dribbles the ball off his own foot, but is able to recover and rises up over Dixon and buries the 20-footer as the shot clock expires!
That's a nice way to deflate the crowd, as Boston is still up big (71-54) heading into the final stanza.
Unfortunately, things aren't so rosy at the start of the fourth, as Darrick Kwik-E-Martin hits a three-point during a 7-0 Toronto run to open the quarter (71-61 9:58).
Doc decides that a timeout would be in order, and when play resumes KG tries to back down Bosh ... He's got him covered, so Kevin kicks it out to Pierce, who swings the ball around to House. He passes inside to Posey, and James tries to take it to the basket but is met by Graham, who proceeds to execute a major flop job and the refs bite!
Ugh, that is ridiculous, as Toronto regains possession ... Wow, the crowd is really loud now (I didn't think there were enough people in the seats to make that kind of noise), as Kapono misses the three-point attempt but the loose rebound bounces right back out to him. Luckily, he steps out of bounds trying to make another shot; that gives Boston back the ball, as KG hits the fallaway jumper over Graham (73-61 9:09).
Delfino then misses the three-point shot, and Posey grabs the rebound; he passes to House, who dribbles upcourt before getting the ball inside to Garnett. He tries to score over Bosh, but comes up short and Calderon takes down the loose board. That gives the Raptors another opportunity, but Posey knocks away Delfino's pass intended for Graham; Allen hustles in to snatch the ball up, and goes coast to coast before being fouled from behind by Calderon.
That's a non-shooting foul with 8:18 on clock, so Pierce inbounds to House, who gives it back to Paul. Covered by Calderon, he executes a devastating spin move (so devastating that it sends Jose flying out of bounds!) which leaves him wide open for the 15-foot jumper ... of course, Paul nails it (75-61 8:08)!
Bosh answers with the basket, then Garnett tries to score down low ... he's double-teamed, so he kicks it out to an open Hosue and he buries the trey (78-63 6:40)!
Celts are starting to pull away again, as Bosh misses again and Posey tears down the rebound. He passes to House, who takes it upcourt as we pass the halfway mark of the quarter ... Pierce ends up with Parker on him, and nails the fallaway jumper (80-63 5:52).
The building is silent again, as Toronto calls a timeout; when play resumes, Humphries tries to re-energize the crowd by hitting the hook shot over Posey (80-65 5:30).
House then misses a deep three-point attempt (he had to hoist it up to beat the shot clock) and the ball bounces out of bounds; the Raptors regain possession, but Humphries misses the outside jumper and KG secures the rebound. He passes to Pierce, who slooooowly brings the ball up the floor (the clock is our friend now), then passes back to Garnett. As the defense collapses around him, he kicks it out to House, who swings it around to Allen who buries the three-pointer (83-65 4:38).
Now we're cooking, as Parker is whistled for the offensive foul (Posey stepped in and absorbed the charge); Boston regains possession, as Garnett is again surrounded underneath the basket, so he passes out to a wide-open House and it's his turn to knock down the trey (86-65 3:55)!
Heinsohn puts it best, as he addresses the Raptors' players and tells them that "the Celtics are here to stay, and you better fear them, because they are gonna be in your face all season long!" ... Garbage time makes the score closer than it actually was, as Celts win their ninth straight by the score of 90 to 77.
FINAL SCORE: Boston 90, Toronto 77
GAME RATING : 16 (Slam Dunk)
BOSTON TOP PERFORMERS:
- Pierce: 41 MIN, 18 PTS (7-15 FG), 6 REB, 4 AST
- Garnett: 34 MIN, 16 PTS (8-18 FG), 8 REB, 6 AST
- Rondo: 24 MIN, 14 PTS (7-12 FG), 4 AST, 2 STL
TORONTO TOP PERFORMERS:
- Bosh: 38 MIN, 17 PTS (4-12 FG, 9-12 FT), 13 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL
- Moon: 20 MIN, 13 PTS (6-9 FG), 3 REB
- Humphries: 20 MIN, 12 PTS (5-9 FG), 9 REB
- The Celtics have now won nine straight games (matching their longest winning streak since the 1992-93 season).