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Paul Pierce scored nine of his season-high 39 points in overtime and the Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors for the second consecutive day, 115-109 Monday night.
One day after Ray Allen's 36 points led Boston to a 94-88 win in Toronto, Pierce led a comeback from a 10-point deficit midway through the third quarter and carried the Celtics to their second straight win after they lost four in a row.
Pierce also had nine rebounds, while Kevin Garnett added 20 points and 12 rebounds. Andrea Bargnani, whose 3-pointer with one second left sent the game into overtime tied at 93, led the Raptors with 23 points, and Chris Bosh had 18 points and 11 rebounds.
The Celtics never trailed in overtime as Pierce scored the first basket, a 3-pointer. After Anthony Parker sank a turnaround shot from the baseline, Pierce connected from the top of the key for a 98-95 lead. Boston led by at least three points the rest of the way.
The Celtics are 4-0 this season against the Raptors and are starting to regain the rhythm that sparked them to a 27-2 record, the best 29-game start in NBA history. They are 4-7 since then.
Boston led 105-99 with a minute to go, forcing Toronto to foul to stop the clock. The Celtics took advantage by going 8-for-8 from the line, with four points each from Pierce and Garnett, in the final 43 seconds.
Despite injuries that sidelined two of their top three scorers, Jermaine O'Neal and Jose Calderon, the Raptors never trailed throughout the second and third quarters. Boston finally went ahead on a 3-pointer by Gabe Pruitt that made it 80-78 with 10:55 left in the fourth.
Pierce made one of two free throws with 14 seconds remaining, giving Boston a 93-90 lead, but the Celtics couldn't stop Bargnani's shot from the left corner that forced overtime.
Each team missed its first two shots of the extra period before Pierce made his 3-pointer.
The Raptors came back behind Roko Ukic, whose two driving layups cut the lead to 103-99 with 1:41 remaining. Parker hit a 3-pointer to bring Toronto within 113-109 then the Raptors stole the inbounds pass, but Jason Kapono missed a 3-pointer and Leon Powe ended the scoring with a dunk.
This program aired on January 13, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.
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