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Celtics-Raptors Game Blog: Third Quarter

The Celtics [1] have some work to do in the second half. Toronto’s deep bench played very well in the second quarter, shooting 7-for-12 and scoring 25 points, while keeping the starters on the bench for the most part. Toronto, which is one of the worst rebounding teams in the league also owned 23-16 edge.

The start of the second half will be critical for the C’s. There were some encouraging numbers. Boston turned the ball over just three times, which allowed the Celtics to get up 41 shots. That’s a pretty high volume of shots for them. Let’s see what they have left.

THIRD QUARTER WRAP: I’m officially running out of superlatives to describe Paul Pierce [2]. The Captain scored 14 points in the third quarter and made about five or six huge defensive plays. I don’t know what winning this game means in the long run but in the short run it’s pretty obvious that it means an awful lot to Pierce.

I was about to write them off at about the 6-minute mark and Pierce completely turned the thing around. Brian Scalabrine [3] was also huge with eight points and a couple of 3-pointers. This is going to be a fun fourth quarter.

Third Quarter Observations

— Two big 3’s by Scalabrine have brought the Celtics back. That was exactly the kind of energy boost they needed. But on the other end Jamario Moon knocked one down. Paul Pierce is cheating very heavily toward Chris Bosh in the middle which left Moon wide open.

— Everything but the finish right now for the C’s. They had three or four quality looks, but the shots just aren’t going down.

— Love it when I type something about shots not falling and Pierce sinks a 3-pointer. The Raptors are shooting 56 percent by the way.

— When Will Solomon is bombing three’s it might be a sign that tonight is not your night.

— A big problem the Celtics are having tonight is that they are a pattern team offensively and since Toronto saw the patterns just 24 hours ago they are easier to snuff out. The KG alley-oop play is an example.

— Got to give them credit though. They are playing really hard.

— There are times to get technical fouls. Up eight on the road with momentum on your side is not one of them, Chris Bosh. That was a four-point swing. Amazing.

— Pierce is absolutely amazing tonight. Howe does he have an extra gear after getting kneed and playing 40+ minutes the day before? The guy is an absolute freak of nature.

— Buzzkill thy name is Kris Humphries.

— Scal used the old Red on Roundball pump fake there.

John Smoltz [4] got a huge ovation when he was introduced to the crowd after the quarter, by the way.