There is no better remedy for losing than winning, and there is no better way to respond from a blowout loss than picking up a blowout win. One night after losing to the Charlotte Bobcats by 24, the Celtics defeated the Toronto Raptors by that same margin.
Boston has now won 10 consecutive games at home, and stands at 35-29 this season. With a Chicago loss in Sacramento tonight, the Celtics will move into a tie for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Seven Boston Celtics scored in double figures, led by Jeff Green who scored a game-high 20 points. The Celtics trailed by one after the first quarter, but a strong second quarter gave Boston a nine-point halftime lead. Boston then continued to expand their lead, essentially putting the game away before the fourth quarter even began.
Doc Rivers had seen his team struggle on the offensive end the past two outings, averaging just 76.5 points per game. Boston was able to get into a rhythm tonight though, shooting 51.3 percent from the floor. Largely responsible for the Celtics’ offensive resurgence was the return of the Captain.
After missing last night’s game for rest, Paul Pierce did not miss a beat. He scored 15 points on just six shots. Pierce’s legs looked fresh as he consistently attacked the basket, earning himself 11 free-throw attempts, converting on nine.
Pierce’s 15 points now moves him into 20th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Kevin Garnett, 12 points, also reached a historic milestone, passing Jerry West for 15th all-time in scoring.
The Celtics were strengthen by their bench, who scored 58 points compared to the Raptors’ 29. Jordan Crawford had 12 points tonight, and has now scored in double-digits for two straight games. That is the first time he’s done so since joining Boston at the trade deadline.
Rudy Gay returned from a neck injury to lead the Raptors in scoring with 19 points. Gay’s 19 was not enough to overcome Toronto’s putrid 3-point shooting, hitting just three of their 13 shots from behind the arc.
Next up, the Celtics will have two days off before having a chance to exact revenge on the Bobcats, who visit the Garden Saturday night.