The Raptors came into the TD Banknorth Garden without their two big men. Bargnani and Bosh didn't make the trip to Boston and the Raptors struggled without them. The Raptors took their only lead at 12-11 in the first quarter. After that, it was all Celtics, building a 46 point lead at one point. The bench once again came on strong for the Celtics proving that the team is much more than their 3 stars. The most important thing about this win is that the Celtics starters all played 28 minutes or less and that is important with the team playing back to back games, facing the Bulls in Chicago in the second game.
Rondo finished with 7 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals in 24 minutes. Eddie House came in and did a very good job on TJ Ford defensively and finished with 13 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists and 2 steals in 24 minutes. He hit some big 3's but shot only 4-10 for the game. Ray Allen is still struggling to find his shooting touch again, shooting only 4-11 from the field and finishing with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists in 27 minutes.
The player of the game and Tommy Award winner was Kevin Garnett. He came out with a purpose and played with intensity that spread to the rest of the team. He finished with 23 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks in just 25 minutes. Pierce continued to do whatever the team needs from him with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks in 28 minutes. Perk played only 15 minutes even though he was playing well, finishing with 4 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block. With the Raptors playing small, Perk's size wasn't needed in this game and he definitely will be needed tomorrow, so Doc was wise to rest him.
Posey again came off the bench with a big game, notching a double double with 10 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal in 27 minutes. Tony Allen continued his comeback with 9 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists in 27 minutes.
Big Baby finished with 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal in 17 minutes. Scal hasn't been getting much play lately but logged 16 minutes in this game finishing with 5 points and 1 rebound in 16 minutes. At one point he hit a 3 and was greeted with a chorus of "Scal-a-brine" chants from the crowd. Powe made the most of his minutes with 5 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in just 8 minutes. Pollard did not play.
The Celtics shot 53% from the floor while holding the Raptors to 43%. The Celtics, facing one of the top 3 point shooting teams in the league, shot 43% from beyond the arc while the Raptors shot just 35% from 3 point territory. The Celtics won the rebounding battle 44-32. Although the Celtics had just 3 turnovers at the half, they coughed up the ball 17 times in the second half to finish with 20 for the game. The ball movement was very good, racking up 29 assists on 39 baskets. The Celtics were wearing their road retro jerseys while the Raptors were wearing the home whites. We can be thankful that they didn't go with the retro shorts although Tommy did mention that Scal's shorts were shorter than normal.
The easy win should pay benefits in the second of back to back games against the Bulls who also played but won a tough game against the Pistons with Hinrich playing 42 minutes, Deng playing 38 minutes and Wallace playing 36 minutes. The Celtics are 10-0 at home and are keeping pace with the 1985-86 Celtics who won the last championship and lost only 1 home game the entire season. These sure are exciting times for Celtics fans. [Box Score] [Play by Play ] [Discuss this topic on the Celtics Green Forums!]