C's Lose at Home to Raptors


C's Lose at Home to Raptors

While the Celtics might have entered the game as the NBA's top team in defending the 3-point shot, you surely wouldn't have guessed it last night.

The Raptors nailed 15 3-pointers en route to a 114-112 victory at sold-out TD Banknorth Garden.

Boston (33-7) lost for the first time in 12 games against Atlantic Division competition. The Raptors nailed 15 of 21 3-pointers, two shy of tying a Celtics opponents' record, and hit nine treys in the second half.

Toronto (23-19) also defeated Boston for the first time in four tries this season.

Four Raptors scored at least 20 points - Jose Calderon, 24; Chris Bosh, 23; Anthony Parker, 23; and Andrea Bargnani, 20 - and as a team, Toronto shot 58 percent.

Celtics forward Kevin Garnett scored a game-high 26 points.

The Celtics had dominated the Raptors, even defeating them in their exhibition opener in Rome. They squeaked by, 98-95, in overtime at Toronto, but won the last two meetings by 28 points and 13 points.

Asked if his Raptors were eager to finally beat Boston, coach Sam Mitchell said, "They've lost six games all year. They've beaten a lot of people. The fact that they've beaten us three times has nothing to do with tonight."

The Celtics outscored the Raptors, 29-28, in the first quarter, shooting 52.2 percent and collecting 9 fast-break points and 8 off six turnovers. The Raptors shot 52.6 percent and nailed three 3-pointers. Garnett had 12 points, while Bargnani had 10.

Tony Allen scored all the Celtics' points during a 12-5 run that put them up, 45-35, with 7:09 left in the second quarter.

Ray Allen picked up his third personal on a clear-path foul on Calderon with 2:19 left. Calderon made both free throws to tie the game at 47, capping a 12-2 Toronto run.

The Raptors closed with a 25-12 run for a 57-55 lead after the first half, which ended with Rajon Rondo's fast-break dunk.

Toronto shot 58.3 percent and nailed six 3-pointers in the half. The Celtics shot 50 percent and scored 16 fast-break points. Garnett had 16 points, while Tony Allen had 14 on 5-of-7 shooting. For Toronto, Calderon had 16 points and five assists, while Parker had 11 points and Bargnani 12.

Boston entered the game No. 1 in the NBA in 3-point percentage defense. The Raptors must not have received that memo.

Three straight Toronto threes left Boston behind, 77-74, with 4:01 remaining in the third quarter. The Celtics responded with a 17-4 run capped by a Brian Scalabrine 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left for a 91-84 lead. The Raptors made 6 of 8 3-pointers in the third, Boston 4 of 5.

The Celtics took a 94-86 lead on a lay-in by Glen Davis with 10:31 left in the fourth quarter. A Carlos Delfino 3-pointer trimmed Toronto's deficit to 96-93 with 6:50 remaining. Paul Pierce's 3-pointer gave Boston a 102-95 lead with 5:06 left. Bosh's 19-foot jumper with 4:12 remaining sliced the Celtics' lead to 102-99.

Parker's 3-pointer brought Toronto within 106-104 with 2:20 remaining. Delfino's 3-pointer got Toronto within 1, 108-107, with 1:23 left. Garnett's dunk with 1:10 left gave Boston a 110-107 lead. But Bosh followed with a dunk with 56.9 seconds left to bring Toronto within 110-109.

After a missed jumper by Pierce with 39.9 seconds left, Toronto got the ball back and called time out. After being fouled, Calderon nailed two free throws with 31.3 seconds left to give Toronto a 111-110 lead.

After Eddie House missed a jumper, Ray Allen ended up getting the ball and nailed a 17-foot jumper to put the Celtics up, 112-111, with 14.9 seconds left. Allen pleaded to his teammates not to foul before Toronto took the ball out. But Calderon made a lay-in and got the call on Rondo with 10.5 seconds left, then hit the free throw to give Toronto a 114-112 lead.

House missed a potential winning 3-pointer. Ray Allen got the rebound but missed a 9-foot jumper at the buzzer.

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