For just the third time in 20 games, the Toronto Raptors have defeated the Boston Celtics.
It was just one of those feel good games – where the Raptors were fun to watch and walked into the dressing room at the end of the game honored by a standing ovation from the packed house at the Air Canada Center.
No Andrea Bargnani, and no Jerryd Bayless.
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 21 points. His fierce play got him to the line seven times – and he made all seven. Every time DeRozan makes it a priority to attack the paint, he will most likely end up on the high end of the stat sheet – and that’s exactly where the Raptors need him to be.
On the other wing, James Johnson was stellar – scoring 14 points, grabbing 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks in 29 minutes. Along the way, JJ threw down a couple dunks that set the ACC ablaze.
Also of note, JJ played some great defense on Pierce – holding him to just 12 points on 4-11 shooting.
If I hadn’t of watched the game, and someone told me that one of the point guards in this game had 17 points and 14 assists; I would have immediately assumed it was Rajon Rondo.
Nay, Jose Calderon had a beast performance against Rondo – who seemed a bit demoralized from not being selected to the all-star game, scoring just 5 points on 2-10 shooting.
None of the Celtics’ stars arose to the occasion in this one; and even Ray Allen – the notorious Raptor assassin – had a quiet game scoring just 6 points on 3-8 shooting.
Strange, isn’t it? How the Raptors just completely dismantled them without Bargnani and Bayless.
Even the big-men stepped up for the Raptors. Amir Johnson had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds on 4-of-4 shooting; while Aaron Gray grabbed 11 rebounds.
We don’t say it too often, but the Raptors got off to a flying start in this one – outscoring the Celtics 26-14 in the 1st quarter.
The Raptors may not be the most talented team out there, but damn do they ever have a knack for elevating their game to the opposition. They’ve beaten the Celtics, Jazz, and Magic; while going toe-to-toe with the Heat.
Last season, they won few games; but still managed to beat the Celtics, Thunder, Magic, and Mavs.
If only they decided to come out like hungry wolves in every game.
Sights & Sounds
Game Pictures (Via The Star)