The Celtics put an end to their three-game losing streak, knocking off the surging Raptors 103-96 on Saturday night at the Garden.
Celtics 103, Raptors 96
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
Jan. 2, 2010
Headliner: Without his other members of the big three, Ray Allen carried the Celtics on his shoulders against the Raptors to end the Celtics' three-game losing streak. Allen scored 23 points, going 8-for-13 from the floor with two rebounds and four assists.
Unsung hero: Kendrick Perkins recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds to help lead the Celtics surprising 103-point outburst, despite missing three of their starters. The double-double marked Perkins' fifth since Dec. 1.
Scrub: Winners of five straight, the Raptors had a chance to make it six in a row against a depleted Celtics roster. But the Raptors were unable to hold the Celtics reserves under 100 points, a trend that has plagued the Raptors all season. When the Raptors hold their opponents under 100 points, they are 12-0 this season. When their opponents score 100 points or more, they are 4-18. On Saturday, defense was once again the Raptors' biggest problem.
Turning Point: The Raptors were able to cut the Celtics' lead to five with just under five minutes left, but Rasheed Wallace stepped up and banked a 12-footer off the glass and in to extend the Celtics' lead to seven. Before Wallace's shot went in, the momentum was beginning to shift to the Raptors, and had they had a chance to cut the lead to three with a Celtics miss or turnover, the game might have turned out differently down the stretch.
Up Next: The Celtics get a three-day break before starting another road trip. The C's travel to Miami on Wednesday, Atlanta on Friday and Toronto on Sunday before returning to the Garden.