The Celtics got their first road win since the Rondo injury, grinding out a comeback victory after a messy third quarter collapse. Of course, that win came against the 17-32 Raptors, but that shouldn’t take away from the Celtics superior execution down the stretch after they put themselves in a tight spot. The Celtics were outscored 34-19 in the third but Barbosa and Garnett combined for 23 in the fourth and they were able to get the win. Lets get to the recap:
- Kevin Garnett was a steady presence for the otherwise uneven Celtics offense. He scored 27 points on 18 shots and kept the offense chugging along despite finding himself in foul trouble during the second half. He scored 11 points in the fourth quarter including a clutch turnaround jumper that put the Celtics up five with 45 seconds to go.
- Paul Pierce struggled with his shot tonight. He finished with 10 points while shooting a horrific 2-11 from the field, and his misses were wild including multiple air balls and bricks off the side of the rim. For reasons that are beyond me, Pierce got an isolation play drawn up for him in crunch time where he ran down the shot clock, drove right, and then missed the basket by a mile. Fortunately the Raptors immediately turned the ball over afterwards. Pierce did have 11 rebounds though, continuing to pick up the slack on the boards, and 6 assists with just two turnovers.
- Jason Terry, who had averaged 12 points per game post-Rondo, turned back into a pumpkin. He only scored two points while disappearing for large spans of time and most of the time when I noticed him he was attempting some crazy, awful, mid-air spin pass.
- Leandro Barbosa was a bright spot off the bench on a night when Terry and Green struggled, with 14 points on 5-8 shooting. His four assists were marred by three turnovers, but an all around solid performance for the Brazilian Blur as a spark plug off the Celtics’ bench.
- Courtney Lee continued to be solid as a rock, with 15 points on 11 shots and good defense.
- Chris Wilcox’s two rebounds and a block in four minutes were apparently not as good as Jason Collins’ two fouls in eight minutes. Wilcox also had a better +/- (+3 vs –9) and I continue to wonder who’s puppy Wilcox kicked to end up this deep in the dog house. Yeah, I’m still grumpy about this.
It’s still the Raptors, I’m still not sold, and my eye is still on the Denver game Sunday. Still, a comeback win on the road was something we hadn’t seen from this version of the 2012-13 Celtics, and I take Toronto more seriously than Orlando or Sacramento (or the Clippers without Chris Paul). The Celtics will fly back to Boston tonight to take on the Lakers tomorrow at the Garden, who will be without Pau Gasol and likely Dwight Howard as well.
Follow Jordan on Twitter: @OffensiveG