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Sounds of the game… Celtics 94, Raptors 87 11.10.08 at 9:34 pm ET
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Monday night had all the makings of a back-to-back letdown. And for all the world in the first half, it looked like an emotional and dominant win in Detroit 24 hours earlier had taken its toll, as the C’s trailed by as many as 16 in the second quarter and 48-36 at halftime. Then the Celtics woke up in the third before Paul Pierce took over in the final 15 minutes, scoring 25 of his game-high 36, including 22 in the final quarter to match the ENTIRE Raptors team.

The end result was a stunning win for the Green and a demoralizing, head-scratcher for Toronto.

Paul Pierce said he was feeling it in the fourth.

Pierce had an ice pack on his sore right hand in the postgame presser.

Kevin Garnett said Pierce was Superman.

Doc Rivers realizes what kind of player Pierce is.

Leon Powe could see a special look in Pierce’s eyes.

What they said about it…

Jason Kapono: “We felt we could have had them down a tad bit further, especially at the end of the second quarter. They made a couple of shots there and they got to the free throw line. It’s our job to keep it going and build a lead, but obviously they are a quality team, a world championship team, and you know that their best run (of the game) is still coming.”

Jermaine O’Neal: “Those guys in the third quarter shot a lot of free throws. In the fourth quarter, they did a good job of making shots. Ray (Allen), Paul and the others have an incredible comfort level with each other. We’ve got to figure a way to keep those guys down, especially  when we’re up 15 or 16 points in a game, especially in the second half.”

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Celtics-Raptors Game Blog Fourth Quarter at 7:31 pm ET
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Once down by as many as 16 points, the Boston Celtics staged a fourth quarter comeback to beat the Toronto Raptors 94-87 on Monday night at the TD BankNorth Garden. Paul Pierce scored 22 points in the final 12 minutes alone and finished the night with 36 points, nine rebounds, and four assists. Kevin Garnett added 21 points and 10 boards. Jermaine O’Neal posted 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors.

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Celtics-Raptors Game Blog Second Quarter at 6:15 pm ET
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Ok so that wasn’t pretty. The Celtics are down 48-36 at the end of the first half and are basically getting beat by one player … Jermaine O’Neal. JO has 19 points and eight rebounds in just 17 minutes. Next in line is Joey Graham with eight points and Chris Bosh has six. The Celtics have not had an answer for JO on either end of the court. Kevin Garnett has 11 points and 4 defensive rebounds while Perk is scoreless with one board. If the Celtics are going to get back into this game, they are going to have to step up their low post game to counter JO’s assault. Adding insult to injury, the Celtics are shooting 32%.

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Sounds of the game… Celtics 101, Bucks 89 11.07.08 at 11:23 pm ET
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Prior to going out and beating the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night at TD Banknorth Garden, Celtics coach Doc Rivers called a meeting of the reserves before Friday night’s game, asking them if the opponent took away their best skill, how could they still help the team. Eddie House, Leon Powe and Glen “Big Baby” Davis had all the answers as the Cs wore down the Bucks in the fourth quarter with a 28-19 run to end the game and improve to 5-1 on the season, with Allen Iverson and the new-look Detroit Pistons on the horizon on Sunday night.

Eddie House said Doc got his message across before the game.

Former UConn star and Milwaukee forward Charlie Villanueva was disappointed the Bucks couldn’t hold their early 25-12 lead in the first quarter.

Kevin Garnett said the Celtics took Milwaukee’s best shot.

Paul Pierce said the Celtics need to solve their problems with slow starts.

Doc Rivers said Pierce working with the second unit was huge.

Kendrick Perkins is looking forward to seeing the Pistons with Allen Iverson on Sunday night.

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Sounds of the game… Celtics 96, Bulls 80 11.01.08 at 12:00 pm ET
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As the Celtics sit in Indianapolis standing 2-0 on the infantile season, let’s take a look back a defensive shutdown performance that had every fan of the Green seeing visions of last year’s title run dancing in their heads more than Gino on Halloween. (Great call, Jessica!)

Paul Pierce said the Celtics just took the heart out of the young Bulls early on.

Kevin Garnett told his teammates that this one was on him after going 5-for-15 in the opener.

Doc Rivers loved his team’s energy from the get-go.

Doc Rivers on playing with momentum going on the road.

Kendrick Perkins said it’s important to get the roadtrip off to a good start.

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The Initiation of Derrick Rose 10.31.08 at 11:41 pm ET
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Derrick Rose, welcome to the NBA.

In just the second regular season game of his career, Rose had to run the floor in the Garden against the defending world champion Boston Celtics. It was a tall order for the rookie point guard and he was up for the challenge.

Rose made his presence known by driving on Kendrick Perkins early in the first quarter and drawing the foul. Perkins has more than seven inches and 90 pounds on Rose and still the rook attacked the hoop as if he had a clear lane.

“I’m kind of used to it now,” Rose, 20, said after the game. “I’m the type of guard where I’m kind of athletic, so when I go to the hole I’m used to getting body contact and I’m used to finishing on people. He’s big but I’m practicing those shots all the time.”

Battling the bigs wasn’t Rose’s only concern. He also had to defend the fiesty Rajon Rondo.

“Rondo was good,” he said. “He knows his role on the team. He’s a good, improving point guard. He’s just going to make you better.”

Rose was one of the few highlights in the Bulls 96-80 loss. He tied Kevin Garnett for most points with 18 and scored all of his field goals in the paint. This was a completely different player than the one who raised red flags during an injury-ridden summer league showing.

“I didn’t want to lose,” Rose said of his improved performance. “I was steady driving, trying to get people open, shooting. I just know now that I can’t waste my time when we get out there. The Celtics, they mean business when they get out there. They try to get the game over with quick and we’ve just got to learn that and we’ll be fine.”

Just one game against the Celtics was all it took for a crash course in NBA competition.

“It’s just going to help me,” Rose said. “I’m happy that I had the opportunity to have this game early in the season so that later on in the season I can get better.”

Expect him to do just that.

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Gino’s Back at 7:39 pm ET
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It’s the moment Celtics fans have been waiting for …

Gino returned to the Jumbotron tonight.

KG waved his fist in the air as the Celtics eagerly looked up at the screen for their beloved dancer. Later he raised two hands, one shaking his sneaker over his head. Not sure if rookies J.R. Giddens and Bill Walker understood what the fuss was all about but when KG is actully loose during a game, you go with it.

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