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Celtics Survive Toronto Rally

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Doc Rivers might not be overly satisfied with the fourth quarter play of the bench brigade, but the Celtics still managed to survive a furious Toronto rally and win, 117-112. The score is not an accurate representation of what went down in this one. Toronto closed the gap in the fourth quarter, but the Celtics led 60-43 at halftime, and 101-73 after three quarters.

  • Marquis Daniels did a little bit of everything in the first half, as he tallied 10 points, six rebounds, and three assists through the first 24 minutes. His highlight play came at the tail end of the first half when he buried a three-pointer at the buzzer from just over half court. He finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, and three assists in 28 minutes, filling in at the starting small forward spot for Paul Pierce, who sat out tonight's game with a stomach virus. 
  • While Kevin Garnett's jump shooting was rocky through the first handful of preseason games, it's returned in force the last two contests, as he buried both of his attempts tonight - one from each corner. He and Rondo connected on an alley-oop for his third bucket, and, perhaps most importantly, KG skied for the pass which Rondo tossed from just over the half court line, caught it, and threw it down with both hands. It was the first alley-oop dunk I can remember in quite some time, as last season we saw an awful lot of Rondo - KG alley-oop attempts end with KG trying to lay the ball in off the glass or barely getting the ball over the rim.
  • Rajon Rondo dominated the third quarter, as he scored 16 points and took 15 free throws. Here's an encouraging stat: Rondo made 12 of those 15 free throws (80 percent). Now, it could be just because I haven't seen Rondo take an absurd number of free throws in a relatively short period of time in a while, but it looked to me like he was over-exaggerating his follow-through with his right arm, which we didn't see a whole lot of last season. Did anyone else notice this or was I imagining things?
  • Stephane Lasme did not play because of VISA issues. Doc Rivers didn't want to take any chances in case Lasme didn't have all of the necessary paperwork. As he put it: "I don't need the hour delay." Lasme will be back in action tomorrow night in Hartford, Connecticut against the New York Knicks
  • While Lasme was out of action, we did see more of Von Wafer, who posted a preseason high 14 points on 4-6 shooting (3-3 from three-point nation). The Wafer we saw tonight was definitely who I was personally anticipating seeing once training camp and the preseason got under way. He was much more aggressive in his shot taking tonight.
  • Even though he didn't seem to help matters too much in the fourth quarter, Nate Robinson put forth another strong offensive night, finishing with 23 points on 6-12 shooting. His highlight play came with 9:03 remaining in the fourth quarter when he absolutely rejected Sonny Weem's jump shot attempt. Weems was driving on the left side on Mario West, pulled up for the jumper, and Robinson flew in out of nowhere and swatted it out of bounds. 
  • Turnovers have been a big issue for the Celtics this preseason, but they only committed 13 giveaways in this one, according to ESPN's box score. The C's had five turnovers in the first quarter, none in the second quarter, and just one in the third quarter, to put things in perspective. Obviously the seven fourth quarter turnovers played a part in Toronto's comeback. 
  • Boston's defense in the third quarter completely smothered Toronto. The Raptors shot a mere 8-22 in the frame (36.3 percent) as they were completely out of sync offensively.
  • For the second straight game we heard a "We want Shaq!" chant erupt from an opposing crowd. Shaq didn't play in this one, but is expected to suit up tomorrow against the Knicks.