Pierce scored 32 points to lift the Celtics over the Toronto
Raptors 110-96 on Wednesday night.
Pierce has been playing with bursitis in his elbow and sprained
his ankle Monday against the Lakers.
"Pierce is an All-Star and is paid enough money to play through
injuries," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "The guy has been
scoring 30 points or more every night, but no one was helping
Morris (Peterson) stop him on defense."
Pierce ended a drought of three games with under 30 points while
shooting 39 percent from the field during that stretch. He scored
30 or more in 15 of the previous 18 games.
"I was disappointed in the Lakers game for not being more
aggressive," Pierce said. "I wanted to be aggressive from the
start and put pressure on the defense."
Toronto closed within 91-86 with 6:22 remaining, but Boston iced
the game with a 10-3 run to take a 101-89 lead with 3:03 remaining.
"This is definitely disappointing," Peterson said. "We just
can't seem to get over the mountaintop. When you get outrebounded,
they get to the foul line more and shoot better, they deserve to
Mike James led the Raptors with 31 points, but was held to two
free throws in the fourth quarter.
"We chose to make him a decision-maker instead of a scorer in
the fourth quarter," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.
Chris Bosh had 24 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for the
Raptors, who lost for the second time in the last six games.
The Celtics won for the second time in six games. Boston has
defeated Toronto eight straight times at home, with Toronto's last
win coming on Nov. 23, 2001.
Bosh and James scored 23 of the Raptors' 25 points in the third
quarter as Toronto cut the Celtics' lead to 81-77 after three.
Pierce scored 14 points in the first quarter, helping the
Celtics to a 30-27 lead. There were 13 lead changes and three ties
in that span. Szczerbiak and Pierce combined for eight straight
points late in the second quarter to help Boston open a 61-50 lead,
its largest of the game.
The Raptors missed a chance to win three straight road games for
the first time this season.
Boston has split its last 20 home games. ... Peterson
played in his 346th straight game, the NBA's longest current
streak. ... The Celtics shot 55 percent overall.