Regular Season Series (Game 4 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

Celtics 92

(26-19, 11-12 away)

Raptors 97

(27-19, 15-8 home)

    8:00 PM ET, January 31, 2002

    Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 27 23 25 1792
    TOR 18 27 18 3497

    Top Performers

    Bos: A. Walker 25 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

    Tor: V. Carter 27 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 Ast, 5 Stl, 1 Blk

    Carter, Clark rally Raptors past Celtics

    TORONTO (AP) -- Vince Carter knows the Toronto Raptors stole a victory from the Boston Celtics.

    Vince Carter


    Vince Carter fouled out late, but not before scoring 27 points.

    Carter scored 27 points, and Toronto rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Boston 97-92 Thursday night.

    "I'm happy with how we finished today," said Carter, who also had five steals and 10 rebounds as the Raptors extended their winning streak to three games. "None of us are afraid to do the dirty work."

    Keon Clark had 16 points and six rebounds for the Raptors, who won for the ninth time in 12 games. Antonio Davis added 12 points and 13 rebounds.

    The victory was No. 74 for coach Lenny Wilkens, who became the winningest coach in the franchise's seven-year history.

    "The defense was good in the second half," Wilkens said. "We wanted to switch it up, double-team at times, so we really stepped it up."

    Antoine Walker, who committed several key turnovers in the fourth quarter, finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics. Paul Pierce shot 5-for-24 from the field and finished with 22 points. Tony Battie added 16 points and nine rebounds.

    The Raptors rallied in the fourth quarter behind Clark, who started in place of the injured Hakeem Olajuwon.

    "I got into early foul trouble and let my team down the first three quarters," Clark said. "But I made up for it in the fourth quarter and that's all that matters. Nobody put their head down (when they fell behind)."

    Clark scored six straight points and finished with 12 in the period. He made two free throws, a layup and a dunk, off a pass from Chris Childs, to cut the Raptors' deficit to 77-71 just 2:20 into the quarter.

    Davis gave Toronto its first lead since the opening minute, when he tipped Childs' missed 3-pointer for an 85-84 lead with 3:39 left.

    The Raptors took the lead for good with 2:35 remaining when Carter picked up a Walker turnover and passed to Alvin Williams, who made a layup to give Toronto an 87-85 lead.

    "We have to do a better job to close out the game," said Walker, who had seven turnovers. "They fed off emotion at the end of the game. We played careless and gave them opportunities to get back in. We need to bounce back, we need to forget this."

    Carter fouled out with 1:14 left on a Battie drive to the basket. Carter was upset with the call and had to be restrained by teammates.

    The Celtics had two chances to tie it in the final seconds, but Childs and Alvin Williams made steals.

    "This was a huge, huge win for this team," Childs said. "We want to dominate on home court, and to be down (17) points and come back against a hot-shooting team like that lets us know we need to play like that the entire game."

    Boston shot 46 percent in the first half and led 50-45 at the break. Toronto shot 36 percent in the opening half.

    Walker and Pierce, who is still hampered by a sore left wrist he injured on a dunk against the Raptors on Jan. 21, made back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Celtics a 64-51 lead 3:31 into the third quarter.

    "We blew the game," Pierce said. "It was a huge loss, especially since we controlled most of the game."

    Game notes
    The Raptors' three previous coaches (Carter, Darrell Walker and Brendan Malone) had losing records. ... Battie returned to the starting lineup after missing one game with a right hip flexor and fouled out with 35.9 seconds left. ... The Raptors activated Michael Stewart to take Olajuwon's place. The 6-foot-10 Stewart had been on the injured list since Jan. 2 with left knee inflammation. ... The Raptors set a franchise record with 11 victories in January ... Olajuwon was placed on the injured list Thursday with a right quadriceps strain.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 92 97
    FGM-FGA 32-82 (.390) 35-86 (.407)
    3PM-3PA 8-23 (.348) 3-11 (.273)
    FTM-FTA 20-26 (.769) 24-29 (.828)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-43 12-43
    Assists 13 22
    Turnovers 19 14
    Steals 5 13
    Blocks 1 4
    Fast Break Points 18 33
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (1/0) 22 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Antoine Walker Walker
    Points: 25
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Vince Carter Carter
    Points: 27
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 5
    Blk: 1