Celtics 99, Raptors 95

Jason Terry scored only two points. Still, he made a big

contribution to Boston’s latest win with a pep talk before the

fourth quarter.

Kevin Garnett scored a season-high 27 points with 10 rebounds,

Paul Pierce had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and the Celtics won

their fifth straight game by beating the Toronto Raptors 99-95 on

Wednesday night.

Courtney Lee added 15 points, Leandro Barbosa had 14, Avery

Bradley 11 and Brandon Bass 10 as the Celtics remained unbeaten

since losing guard Rajon Rondo to a season-ending knee injury.

Garnett scored 11 points in the fourth quarter as the Celtics

rallied from a 10-point deficit to snap a two-game skid in Toronto.

Boston had lost three of its last four in Canada.

”We’re fighters,” Garnett said. ”We’re a team that’s going to

compete for 48 minutes. It’s not always pretty. We’re not perfect,

we’re human beings. But we play hard, we do our best to go out and

try to perfect the game plan.”

Boston’s turnaround came after Terry harangued his teammates for

their sloppy play through three quarters.

”His message was simple,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.

”`The ball will find the open guy. You don’t have to dribble

around and create your own shot. We’ve got enough scoring. Space

the floor and play together.’ And I think that’s what we did.”

Terry teamed with Garnett, Pierce, Barbosa and Jeff Green as the

Celtics went small in the fourth to engineer their comeback.

”It felt like we didn’t have the pace we wanted all game long

until that fourth quarter,” Pierce said. ”Once we picked the pace

up we got the lead and were able to win the game.”

The victory also ended a three-game road losing streak for the

Celtics, who had dropped 11 of 14 away from home.

”This is a good win for us because we didn’t have it at

stages,” Rivers said. ”We just kind of kept looking for the right

lineup, the right group.”

It was Rivers’ 400th win with Boston, making him just the third

Boston coach to reach that mark. Only Tom Heinsohn (427) and Red

Auerbach (910) have more victories with the Celtics.

”That’s cool,” Rivers said. ”To be behind those two guys is

pretty special for me.”

Rudy Gay led the Raptors with 25 points and a season-high 12

rebounds. Kyle Lowry scored 17 and Amir Johnson had 16 points and

12 rebounds as Toronto lost for the 10th time in 13 games.

Andrea Bargnani returned after missing 26 games with a torn

ligament in his right elbow to score 13 points for the Raptors.

”He gave us some good minutes,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey

said. ”I thought he wore down a little bit and I didn’t want to

wear him down too much.”

DeMar DeRozan also scored 13, making five of 16 field goal


Trailing 79-69 to begin the fourth, Boston tied it with a 10-0

run. Barbosa completed a three-point play, Garnett hit a layup,

Terry made a pull-up jumper and Garnett tied it with a three-point

play of his own.

”He had it going so we wanted to milk that,” Pierce said,

referring to Garnett. ”He’s been phenomenal in this stretch and he

carried us tonight offensively.”

Alan Anderson stopped the run with a layup but the Celtics

reclaimed the lead when Barbosa hit a 3-pointer, then was fouled

while making a layup on the next possession. Barbosa missed the

free throw, but Boston led 86-85 with 5:50 to go.

Pierce made two from the line and Garnett followed with a layup,

giving the Celtics a 90-85 edge with 4:02 left.

Gay tipped in a rebound with 42 seconds remaining, cutting it to

96-93, but Green made one of two from the line to put the Celtics

up by four with 17 seconds left.

”We had some defensive letdowns that we couldn’t come back

from,” Gay said.

Gay scored eight points in the first and DeRozan added six as

the Raptors led 23-20 after one. Bargnani scored 11 in the second

but Boston got 10 from Pierce and eight from Garnett to lead 50-45

at halftime.

The Raptors took advantage after Garnett picked up his fourth

foul with 6:48 remaining in the third and was replaced by Jason

Collins. Toronto led 73-69 with 43 seconds left when Gay hit a 3,

then forced a steal off the resulting inbounds pass and fed DeRozan

for a dunk. DeRozan was fouled on the play and made the free throw

to put the Raptors up 79-69 heading into the fourth. Gay scored 13

points in the third while Lowry had 10.

”I didn’t like how we played most of the game,” Rivers said.

”We just kind of hung in there.”

NOTES: Toronto F Landry Fields (back spasms) missed his second

straight game. … The Raptors went 13-13 without Bargnani. …

Gay’s double-double was his first since joining the Raptors from

Memphis in a three-team trade last week. … Boston had at least

five players score in double figures for the fourth straight game.

… Toronto had 12 steals, one shy of its season high. … The

Celtics host the Lakers on Thursday night.