for this game

Calderon huge as Raptors edge Celtics

Jan 24, 2008 - 5:15 AM By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- It took a career-best performance for Jose Calderon and the Toronto Raptors to finally break through against the Boston Celtics.

Calderon scored a career-high 24 points, including a crucial three-point play with 10.5 seconds left, and Ray Allen missed a potential game-tying shot at the buzzer as the Raptors rallied to beat the Celtics, 114-112, on Wednesday at TD Banknorth Garden.

"We had too many turnovers, they got offensive rebounds, so we kind of balanced it in the shooting percentage, the free throws and the 3-pointers," said Calderon, whose offense off-set the team's 19 turnovers. "I think if we could of played smarter and, maybe, we don't have to keep the game that close."

Allen could not repeat his heroics of November 4 when he won the game in overtime with a last-second shot in Toronto.

"The one at the buzzer (Wednesday, I probably won't be able to sleep tonight," Allen said. "I heard a voice behind me, and it was Kevin (Garnett). I'll play that shot over and over again in my head."

Chris Bosh and Anthony Parker each had 23 points to pace Toronto, which had four players with at least 20 points and won for the first time in four tries this season against the Boston.

"This was really important for us," Calderon said. "We had three times to play against them, so we knew how to play this time. We had to come back here and show that we can beat them. Right now, we're 23-19, and we showed we can beat Boston on their court so we're OK."

"Jose recognized the situation," Bosh said. "(Raptors coach) Sam (Mitchell) made a great call. In fact, I was able to get a piece of (Rajon) Rondo (with a screen). Jose was aggressive. He had (Parker) in the corner and he hadn't missed any shots all day, so they really didn't want to leave him. And Jose did a great job of finishing."

The Raptors made 12 of their first 15 shots from 3-point range, finishing 15-of-21 from the arc.

"Anytime we rotated, we went to one guy, they chose another guy and made the shot," Allen said. "They just had us guessing defensively, and we still had the chance to win the game."

Allen knocked down a top-of-the-key jumper following Eddie House's errant 3-pointer, putting Boston ahead by one with 14.9 seconds remaining - setting up Calderon's heroics.

Calderon also drilled two free throws to give Toronto a 111-110 lead with 31.3 seconds remaining.

But Toronto needed to comeback against a talented Boston squad, which built its lead to 43-32 on Tony Allen's free throw which completed a three-point play with 7:40 remaining in the second.

But the Raptors rallied with a 25-8 spurt, capped by Parker's 3-pointer with 30.6 seconds remaining in the second.

Toronto was able to turn momentum in its favor in the second quarter by shooting 11-of-17 from the field, including 6-of-8 from the arc.

"71 percent from the three, 100 percent from the foul line, at least the foul line, it wasn't guarded, I guess," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "They played great. Give them all the credit, No. 1. They made every shot. They came out, they wanted this game and they had three days of preparation.

"They attacked us, got a lot of early baskets. They wanted it to be a high-scoring game; they got that."

The Raptors would have led by four at the break, but Paul Pierce in-bounded from under the his own basket to Rondo across half court. Rondo raced to the basket for a one-handed dunk with one- tenth of a second remaining to cut the deficit to 57-55 at halftime.

The Celtics and Raptors went back and forth in the third as Toronto continued its torrid shooting from the arc.

Brian Scalabrine brought an appropriate end to the period when he sank a long 3-pointer from the left wing with nine-tenths of a second remaining, capping a 6-0 run and putting Boston up, 91-84.

Garnett scored 26 points and Ray Allen and Pierce added 19 apiece for the Celtics, who fell to 18-4 at home this season.

"It was one of those game, and we felt like it kind of slipped away from us, and we are kicking ourselves for losing, but give them all the credit in the world," Ray Allen said. "They shot the ball lights out tonight, it seemed that offensively their execution was right where it needed to be, and it wasn't one person, and it seemed they had five or six guys going at the same time tonight."