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Bosh sparks decisive run as Raptors top Celtics

Dec 2, 2006 - 2:54 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Chris Bosh scored nine of his 25 points in a decisive fourth-quarter run and Anthony Parker added 17 points as the Toronto Raptors rallied past the Boston Celtics, 106-102.

Rookie Jorge Garbajosa scored 16 points for Toronto (6-10), which shot 55 percent (42-of-76) from the field to improve to 5-2 at home.

Bosh entered Friday's contest leading Toronto in scoring (20.5) and rebounding (12.3). The All-Star forward made 9-of-15 shots overall and scored 10 points in the final period to lead the Raptors past an equally struggling foe in the woeful Atlantic Division.

"One thing I'm trying to get better at is staying composed down the stretch in the fourth quarter because I think last year, sometimes, I kind of lost it," Bosh said. "I have more confidence in myself that I can make the right plays and score the ball when it is time to score."

Much of Bosh's offensive success came when he was matched up with reserve forward Brian Scalabrine as Boston decided to play a smaller lineup.

"I thought the guys who played played well and it's a tough game because they have a lot of different kinds of lineups," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said. "They put small quick guys on the court, they try to break you down.

"It's tough some nights and we kept talking about that, but our guys did a great job. At the end of the game, we made some plays."

Trailing, 92-86, with seven minutes left, the Raptors went on a 17-5 spurt capped by Bosh's two free throws to make it 103-97 with 2:29 remaining. The 6-10 forward was dominant during the burst, combining a soft fadeaway jumper with strong drives to the basket.

Toronto nailed 13-of-14 free throws in the second half to seal the win. Bosh was 7-of-9 from the line overall.

"That is what it is about in the fourth quarter, knocking down free throws, getting stops and rebounds," Bosh said. "We came down and got three stops in a row and that helped us push up the lead."

Paul Pierce scored 19 points and reserves Delonte West and Al Jefferson added 14 apiece for the Celtics (6-10), who shot 52 percent (36-of-69) in their second straight loss.

Pierce injured his elbow after falling awkwardly on a jump shot in the third quarter but returned to action following a short stint on the bench.

"It's swelled up, similar to the injury I had last year," Pierce said. "It's a little sore right now, but I'll give it a couple of days rest and we'll see. I'll have the doctor look at it (Saturday) and see how it feels."

"Paul thought his arm was broke when he came to the timeout. I asked him if he wanted to come out and he said, 'No,'" Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "But he was great, he moved the ball, but at the end there were three or four shots where you could see he didn't want to take them because of the distance and his arm and that obviously hurt us. He told me he got to the basket with one layup he missed because he couldn't extend it. But I give him an A for great effort, he tried to do it."

Rivers was happy with his team's offensive output but blamed the loss on a poor effort at the defensive end.

"We're scoring enough points to win games," Rivers said. "We do it every night. You work on defense and then guys get beat 1-on-1 on easy drives and as a coach that is so frustrating to watch."

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