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Toronto at Boston

Pierce powers Celtics with 39 points, turns back Raptors in OT

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Kevin Garnett shut down Chris Bosh, then suggested some musical accompaniment for Paul Pierce, the Celtics star none of the Raptors could stop.

"Y'all need to start playing some of that Superman theme music in the building when he's going like that," Garnett said after Pierce scored nine of his season-high 39 points in overtime to lead Boston to a 115-109 win over Toronto on Monday night.

"I'll be Batman. I'll be Robin," he said while sitting next to Pierce at a postgame news conference. "I'll be anybody you want me to be. I'll be the garbage man. But this is Clark Kent right here."

Clark Kent with one balky knee.

Pierce played 49 minutes despite coach Doc Rivers' pregame fears that the right knee he hurt in Sunday's 94-88 win at Toronto might sideline him.

"There's players who play the game. There's players who absolutely love the game," Rivers said. "Paul's one of those 'love' guys. ... He's tough as nails."

One day after Ray Allen's 36 points carried Boston in Toronto, Pierce led a comeback from a 10-point deficit midway through the third quarter and carried the Celtics to their second straight win after four consecutive losses.

And he wasn't overly tired.

"Actually, I feel pretty good," Pierce said. "Could have played another quarter, I think."

He hurt his knee Sunday in a collision with teammate Brian Scalabrine, who scored eight clutch points in the third quarter in place of injured center Kendrick Perkins.

"Hopefully, I don't hit it again so it can kind of heal," Pierce said. "Doc's been around long enough to know that it takes a lot to keep me off the court."

Pierce also had nine rebounds, while Garnett added 20 points and 12 rebounds and held Bosh to 1-of-4 shooting in 12 minutes of the fourth quarter and kept him from shooting in all five minutes of overtime.

"You work hard to get open, then he overplays you," said Bosh, who had 18 points and 11 rebounds. "And then he has help behind him."

Andrea Bargnani, whose 3-pointer with one second left sent the game into overtime tied at 93, led the Raptors with 23 points.

The Celtics never trailed in overtime as Pierce scored the first basket, a 3-pointer.

"Kevin kept the ball alive and we swung it and I was just open for the shot," he said. "In overtime, it wasn't really about my aggressiveness. The couple of shots I got were from ball movement."

After Anthony Parker sank a turnaround shot from the baseline, Pierce connected from the top of the key for a 98-95 lead. Boston led by at least three points the rest of the way.

"Ray Allen, except for a 3 (in overtime) didn't really didn't do anything," Toronto's Roko Ukic said, "but they're a deep team."

The Celtics are 4-0 this season against the Raptors and are starting to regain the rhythm that sparked them to a 27-2 record, the best 29-game start in NBA history. They are 4-7 since then.

Boston's 22 points set a club record for most in overtime, breaking the mark set on Jan. 2, 1963, when it outscored the San Francisco Warriors 21-6 in a 135-120 win.

On Monday, Boston led 105-99 with a minute to go, forcing Toronto to foul to stop the clock. The Celtics took advantage by going 8-for-8 from the line, with four points each from Pierce and Garnett, in the final 43 seconds.

Despite injuries that sidelined two of their top three scorers, Jermaine O'Neal and Jose Calderon, the Raptors never trailed throughout the second and third quarters. Boston finally went ahead on a 3-pointer by Gabe Pruitt that made it 80-78 with 10:55 left in the fourth.

Pierce made one of two free throws with 14 seconds remaining, giving Boston a 93-90 lead, but the Celtics couldn't stop Bargnani's shot from the left corner that forced overtime.

"We were looking for A.P. (Parker)," Toronto coach Jay Triano said. "We put as many 3-point shooters on the floor as we could."

Each team missed its first two shots of the extra period before Pierce made his 3-pointer.

The Raptors came back behind Ukic, whose two driving layups cut the lead to 103-99 with 1:41 remaining. Parker hit a 3-pointer to make it 113-109. The Raptors stole the inbounds pass, but Jason Kapono missed a 3-pointer and Leon Powe ended the scoring with a dunk.

Notes

  • Pitcher John Smoltz, joining the Boston Red Sox after 21 years with the Atlanta Braves, attended the game.
  • Toronto is 4-3 in January after going 4-12 in December.
  • A halftime re-enlistment ceremony for members of the Massachusetts Army National Guard was held on the court.
  • Injuries sidelined Boston's Kendrick Perkins for his second straight game and Tony Allen for his fifth.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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'This is Clark Kent right here,' Kevin Garnett says about teammate Paul Pierce (above).  (Getty Images)
'This is Clark Kent right here,' Kevin Garnett says about teammate Paul Pierce (above). (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Toronto (16-23) 2331241516109
Boston (31-9) «1926291922115
TOR:A. Bargnani 23 Pts
TOR:C. Bosh 11 Reb
TOR:W. Solomon 5 Ast
BOS:P. Pierce 39 Pts
BOS:K. Garnett 12 Reb
BOS:R. Rondo 8 Ast
Players of the Game
BostonToronto

P. Pierce

A. Bargnani
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
39942383
Toronto
C. Bosh, PF456-116-7111518
A. Bargnani, PF399-203-383423
A. Parker, SG344-102-243211
W. Solomon, PG294-60-025310
J. Moon, SG233-70-01128
J. Graham, SF291-55-63137
R. Ukic, SG237-120-033116
J. Kapono, SF222-63-41217
K. Humphries, PF203-53-44129
J. O'Neal, PFDid Not Play
J. Voskuhl, CDid Not Play
J. Calderon, PGDid Not Play
N. Jawai, PFDid Not Play
Totals 39-8222-26372023109
 47.6%84.6% 
Boston
P. Pierce, SG4913-2610-1194439
R. Allen, SG455-101-155212
K. Garnett, PF407-156-6122420
R. Rondo, PG404-91-25809
B. Scalabrine, PF284-90-022311
L. Powe, PF264-72-571510
E. House, SG132-40-01216
G. Davis, PF132-41-15145
G. Pruitt, PG101-40-00103
S. Cassell, PGDid Not Play
K. Perkins, CDid Not Play
T. Allen, SGDid Not Play
P. O'Bryant, CDid Not Play
J. Giddens, SGDid Not Play
B. Walker, SGDid Not Play
Totals 42-8821-26462623115
 47.7%80.8% 
Other Games
Mil 97 Final
Wash 91
OKC 99 Final
NJ 103
NY 101 Final
NO 95
Port 109 Final
Chi 95
Ind 113 Final
Utah 120