The Celtics rolled over the Toronto Raptors tonight, 116-103.
On a night we saw the Celtics shoot 62% from the field (41% from three), Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins shoot a combined 14-14, and Paul Pierce throw down a monster dunk over Chris Bosh (video above), I'm going to focus on the defense?
Yup. The Celtics cranked up the defensive intensity in the 3rd quarter (outscoring Toronto 33-17). They turned a 61-57 deficit into an 82-65 lead with a 25-4 run. The game was won during this run. The Celtics forced 25 turnovers and had 15 steals.
Perk played one of his best offensive games. He was 8-8 from the field for 18 points. He was patient with the ball and this allowed him to bust out a variety of moves in the paint. Being guarded by Andrea Bargnani didn't hurt either.
Pierce (18 points, 5 reb, 7 assists, 2 steals) had a ferocious dunk over Chris Bosh at the start of the fourth quarter. The Truth hit Bosh with a knee in the midsection and it sent the big man down hard.
Pierce got hit with a technical foul for taunting after the dunk. The Toronto coaching staff got all worked up – either because the refs didn't call an offensive foul on Pierce for pushing off with his left arm or they were pissed at Pierce for taunting an injured player. Pierce reacted so quickly, I doubt he was aware Bosh was injured. However, be prepared for some criticism. Here's a tweet from Chris Mannix:
hour in Boston: Pierce, w/C's up 12, beats Rasho to basket and dunks.
On way up knees Bosh in chest. Bosh hurt, Pierce stares at him
"Maybe, just maybe, the Celtics got their swagger back in this game," – Mike Gorman.
More photos from the game… after the jump.