Going into tonight's game Celtics fans were still unsure what we were going to get from our team. Were we going to play like a top-tier team in the league, or play to the level of our opponents? For the first time since the game against the Bulls we saw the real Celtics. The Celtics had shown spurts of good play but had not shown any consistency at all. Tonight the Celtics used close to a full game effort to beat a middle-of-the-pack Toronto Raptors team by the score of 116-103.
The Celtics started out tonights game by firing on all cylinders on the offensive side of things. They made 12 of their first 13 shots but still couldn't pull away. The Celtics defense could not contain the Raptors, the two teams swapped leads five time in the first quarter and the Celtics held a 33-27 lead after one quarter. If you need indication of how good the Celtics offense was, and how bad the Raptors defense was, the C's shot 87% from the field during the first quarter.
The second quarter continued to be an offensive showdown as the Celtics could not find a way to stop the Toronto offense. Toronto outscored the C's 28-21 in the second to take a 55-54lead going into the half. At this point in the game it was hard to believe the Celtics were losing the game after giving us one of their best offensive performances of the year.
The Celtics then used a 9-0 run in the middle of the third quarter to take a 70-61 lead with four minutes remaining in the quarter. This run was a result of intense in-your-face defense and some very good transition basketball. The Celtics continued this type of play for the rest of the quarter and took a 87-72 lead into the fourth quarter, capped by a Rasheed Wallace three pointer with 0.6 seconds left in the quarter.