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."

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