Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/23

Game 1: Friday, November 23rd
Game 2: Sunday, December 2nd
Game 3: Monday, January 21st
Game 4: Thursday, January 31st

Raptors 97

(24-18, 12-11 away)

Celtics 106

(24-16, 14-6 home)

    7:30 PM ET, January 21, 2002

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    TOR 26 18 27 2697
    BOS 28 24 23 31106

    Top Performers

    Tor: V. Carter 26 Pts, 6 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    Bos: P. Pierce 30 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Pierce puts pain aside to score 30 points

    BOSTON (AP) -- Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics showed their resiliency.

    Antoine Walker had 20 points and 10 rebounds, then reveled in the victory.

    Pierce returned from two injuries and scored 10 of his 30 points in the fourth period as the Celtics snapped a two-game losing streak with a 106-97 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night.

    Antoine Walker added 20 points and 10 assists, and Kenny Anderson had 13 points and nine assists for the Celtics. Kedrick Brown started his second game of the season and finished with a career-high 12 points.

    Pierce jammed his wrist in the first quarter and injured his right knee while going for a rebound in the third period. He never considered not returning to the game. Pierce underwent X-rays, which were negative, on Tuesday. He is listed as probable for Wednesday night's home game against the Pacers.

    "They'll have to carry me off the floor on a stretcher for me not to come back," Pierce said. "At least I know not to fall on my head, I'm too pretty to do that."

    Vince Carter scored 26 points -- two in the fourth quarter -- for Toronto, which had its four-game winning streak snapped. The Raptors also had their three-game road winning streak halted.

    "It was a big win over a hot team," Celtics coach Jim O'Brien said. "We looked dead in the first half but found a way to win. I'm giving them tomorrow off to recharge their batteries."

    Boston forced 17 turnovers and finished with 30 assists.

    "The Celtics' points off turnovers hurt us in the first half," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "They made some big shots down the stretch."

    Boston went on a 17-5 run and opened a 52-42 lead with 21.9 seconds left in the second quarter. Pierce scored seven points in the outburst.

    Carter scored 10 points in the third quarter and the Raptors closed to two points four times in the period.

    Jerome Williams made a free throw that pulled the Raptors to 72-71 with 37 seconds left in the third. Walter McCarty hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Celtics a 75-71 lead after three periods.

    Pierce was held scoreless in the third, before leaving the game with a bruised right knee with 4:27 remaining in the period.

    Pierce returned in the fourth quarter and scored eight points in a 17-4 run as Boston opened a 92-75 lead.

    Toronto's Tracy Murray scored all 16 of his points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer that pulled the Raptors to 99-90 with 2:46 left.

    "They didn't come out and play well enough to beat us by that many points," Antonio Davis said.

    Game notes
    Kenny Anderson has pledged $50 to the New York Fire Department Relief Fund for each assist he logs this season. He passed the $10,000 mark Monday night. ... Walter McCarty was ejected with 6:07 left in the fourth quarter after committing a flagrant foul on Antonio Davis. ... The Raptors' league-leading streak for consecutive games with a 3-pointer reached 245 games. ... Hakeem Olajuwon celebrated his 39th birthday Monday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 97 106
    FGM-FGA 34-80 (.425) 39-76 (.513)
    3PM-3PA 5-17 (.294) 10-24 (.417)
    FTM-FTA 24-26 (.923) 18-22 (.818)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-39 7-33
    Assists 22 30
    Turnovers 17 14
    Steals 8 9
    Blocks 2 1
    Fast Break Points 2 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (0/0) 22 (0/1)

    Top Performers

    Vince Carter Carter
    Points: 26
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 30
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0