98 - 95 Final - OT
  for this game

Allen hits game-winner as Celtics hold off Raptors

Nov 5, 2007 - 12:57 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Ray Allen proved the Boston Celtics have more than one go-to guy at the end of games.

Allen scored 33 points, including seven 3-pointers and the game-winning shot from the arc at the buzzer, as the Boston Celtics held on for a 98-95 overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

Allen scored 12 points in overtime and nailed a 23-foot 3-pointer from the left wing with two seconds remaining on an assist from Paul Pierce to seal the win.

"That's exactly how we drew it up," Allen said. "A lot has been said about this team, what's going to happen at the end of games, who's going to going to take that shot. It's a joy to be out there offensively, and for the coach to draw up a play where we have three options. Paul saw me wide open and KG (Kevin Garnett) set a great pick. It was a great play."

"We knew it was coming," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "Ray hit a good shot, they have a good team."

T.J. Ford, who scored 32 points, knotted the game at 95-95 with a 3-pointer with four seconds left, but Allen answered immediately.

"They (Celtics) have so many weapons so you never know who it's going to go to and Ray made a great shot," Ford said.

"That was the play that we drew up for Ray to come off the screen," Pierce said. "We had second and third options, but the first option was open, so I got the ball to him and executed our play."

Garnett, who played the end of the fourth and the entire overtime period with five fouls, totaled 23 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. It came on the heels of a 22-point, 20-rebound performance in the season opener on Friday.

"We try to play through Kevin a lot," Pierce said. "He's such a tremendous passer, he's so unselfish, but of course, he can also score down in the post. So, we just wanted to get it him and let him do his work."

The Celtics played the game without head coach Doc Rivers, who left Toronto early Sunday after his father passed away in Chicago. Assistant Tom Thibodeau took over in the absence of Rivers.

"Yeah, (it was) a good game," Thibodeau said. "(A) good road win so obviously we are happy about that. Our thoughts are with Doc and so that makes it special that we were able to win for him."

"I know this is tough on him," Pierce said. "My best goes out to him and his family. We wanted to come out here and get the win for him."

Boston's "Big Three" of Allen, Garnett and Pierce combined for 69 points for the second straight game. However with Pierce struggling and Garnett in foul trouble, Allen carried the load.

Acquired in draft-night trade, Allen shot 11-of-16 and was 7-of-11 from the arc. As a team, Boston shot an astounding 46 percent (12-of-26) from 3-point range.

"It was an emotional win," Allen said. "We are still a pretty new team, in the early stages of development, still learning a lot about each other. I think every game is going to give us some more experience."

The Celtics never trailed in the second half, but the Raptors rallied when Garnett left with 11:06 left in the fourth.

Toronto used a 15-6 run to tie the game at 72-72, and Ford later knotted the game again at 78-78 with a layup with 27 seconds left in regulation.

However, in overtime, Garnett and Allen dominated, scoring 18 of the Celtics' 20 points.

Meanwhile, Pierce had an off night, scoring just 13 points on 4-of-17 shooting.

Bosh collected 19 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto, which shot just 36 percent (33-for-90).

"I'm suprised we actually had a chance to take them to overtime when we were shooting 36 percent," Mitchell said. "We know they are a hard team to play. If T.J. didn't play the way he played, and our defense wasn't as good as it was, we wouldn't of had a chance to win the basketball game."