Paul Pierce Leads Boston Celtics To Victory Against Raptors in Rondo's Return

Mike MehtaContributor IIJanuary 2, 2011

Doc Rivers knew that Paul Pierce was the key to victory
Doc Rivers knew that Paul Pierce was the key to victory

Coming off a subpar game against the New Orleans Hornets, Paul Pierce was determined to guide his team to victory.  He finished the night with 30 points on 10-15 (3-3 from beyond the arc), seven rebounds and four assists as the Celtics defeated the Raptors 93-79.

After back-to-back games in which the Celtics had more turnovers than assists, the men in green welcomed the return of All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo back into their lineup.  As a result, the Celtics finished the game with 30 assists to 14 turnovers.  

With the return of Rondo, Pierce no longer had to become a playmaker and table-setter for the offense.  Instead, he was able to focus on his own offense and carried the Celtics to a win over the Toronto Raptors.  

The Raptors attempted to push the tempo against the Celtics, which led to 29 fast break points.  Toronto attacked the boards and won the rebounding battle 49-37, including a 19-2 advantage in offensive rebounds.  DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 27 points but is still too young to be leading a team to victory.

Glen Davis came close to a triple-double, finishing the night with 15 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.  Rajon Rondo chipped in with four points to go along with eight assists of his own.  Ray Allen was second in scoring for the Celtics, adding 23 points, including several clutch baskets down the stretch.

The Celtics used a 17-8 run to end the game.


Side notes

Paul Pierce left the game with 1:25 in the fourth quarter after coming down awkwardly from a fast break dunk.  Coach Doc Rivers said that Pierce will be fine and expects him to play tomorrow night against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Boston.