Pierce leads Celtics over Raptors
Boston Celtics beat Toronto Raptors
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2009 18:53 GMT

 Paul Pierce and the Celtics are finding their form again [EPA]
The Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors for the second time in two days, but this time they needed overtime to secure a 115-109 win.

Paul Pierce scored a season-high 39 points despite a sore right knee for the Celtics, who held off the Raptors 94-88 in Toronto on Sunday to end a four-game losing streak.

Pierce pounding

"There's players who play the game; there's players who absolutely love the game.

"Paul's one of those 'love' guys," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said after Pierce was on the court for more than 49 minutes.

"He's tough as nails... (and) he's able to play through pain because of the love for the game."

Pierce nailed a three-pointer for the first points of the overtime session and the Celtics never trailed again.

"Doc's been around me long enough to know that it takes a lot to keep me off the court," Pierce said.

"I was a little ginger but I was able to get some much-needed rest last night."

Kevin Garnett added 20 points and 12 rebounds to help secure the 19th victory in 21 home games for the Atlantic Division-leading Celtics, who trailed by 10 points in the third quarter before rallying.

Andrea Bargnani, who paced the Raptors with 23 points, forced overtime on a three-pointer with a second to play but was held scoreless in the extra session.

"We shot ourselves in the foot tonight," the Raptors' Chris Bosh, who added 18 points and 11 rebounds, said.

"There were a couple rotations that we made mistakes," he noted.

"On one (in overtime), we left the hottest guy on the court, Paul Pierce, open."

Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.