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Allen helps Celtics snap losing skid

Jan 11, 2009 - 10:31 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Ray Allen took little time in helping the Boston Celtics get back on track.

Allen scored 36 points Sunday as the Celtics snapped a four-game losing streak with a 94-88 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Allen helped Boston jump out to a quick start, sinking all five of his 3-point attempts in the first quarter as the Celtics raced out to a 32-20 advantage.

"When Ray gets it going, that's our focus," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "Feed the pig, that's what we always say. He was the hot guy, so we want to keep feeding him."

Allen finished 11-of-14 from the field and 8-of-10 from the arc. He also converted all six of his free-throw attempts.

"I just played in what we were doing, but again we were moving the ball," Allen said. "When we move the ball, I am the recipient of a lot of the shots because the ball does move around a couple of times and penetration always allows for the ball to go to who the open man is."

Allen buried the lone shot he attempted in the second quarter as Boston got 11 points from its bench to take a 54-41 lead at the half.

The Celtics held a 75-55 advantage to start the fourth quarter, but Boston allowed Toronto to get back in it with a 17-5 spurt that cut the gap to eight points, 80-72, with 5:52 left.

Later, Andrea Bargnani drained a 3-pointer with 1:36 remaining to pull Toronto within 88-83, and later sank two free throws with 34 seconds left as the Raptors pulled within 90-85.

"I really liked our energy in the fourth quarter," Raptors coach Jay Triano said. "We found a bunch of players that really had a lot of juice because I didn't think we had it much for the most part of the game - we didn't seem to have a lot of bounce.

"We were searching for a combination that would have a lot of energy and we found one in the fourth, and those guys helped bring the game back."

Allen responded to Toronto's surge by sandwiching four free throws around a 3-pointer by Toronto's Jason Kapono as the Celtics held on for the win.

The Celtics also got 14 points and 11 assists from Rajon Rondo. Paul Pierce added 11 points and Kevin Garnett scored 10 to go along with 11 rebounds for Boston, which had lost seven of nine.

"It was the old us for a lot of stretches today, so I was happy with that," Rivers said.

Toronto, which had its three-game home winning streak halted, was led by Bargnani, who scored 17 points.

The Raptors got 15 points and 11 rebounds from Chris Bosh. Jamario Moon also scored 15 points, while Kapono and Joey Graham each added 12.

The Celtics now have won seven of the past eight games against the Raptors, including four straight in Toronto and all three meetings this season.

Toronto will get another chance at the Celtics when they travel to Boston Monday for the second game of a home-and-home series.

"Don't dig a hole in the first two quarters," Bosh said about the key to success against Boston. "In the fourth quarter, they really showed us, if we continue to move the ball, stop staying stagnant, holding the ball and just make hard cuts we can score pretty easily.

"If we play the right way on defense, we can rebound the ball, and it will be a much closer game next time."

Pierce injured his right knee in a collision with teammate Brian Scalabrine during the first quarter and did not return until the start of the second.

Pierce hyper-extended the same knee last month and his availability is uncertain for Monday's rematch.

"We'll see how it feels after the plane ride and some rest and treatment," Pierce said. "Hopefully, it will get better overnight."

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    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Celtics 94, Raptors 88  FinalJan 11 5:44 PM

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    BOSTON 94

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    RUWTbot Added 26 roots (Close Finish)

    Celtics 90, Raptors 83  4th - 0:36Jan 11 3:01 PM

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    BOSTON 75

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    BOSTON 54

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    BOSTON 32

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    GREGnKY Added 5 roots

    Celtics vs. RaptorsJan 11 8:16 AM