Celtics end slump; rout Raptors, 96-73
BOSTON ( AP) — The Boston Celtics had two reasons to be thankful Wednesday night: Their five- game losing streak was finally over and a scary fall by point guard Rajon Rondo resulted in only a sore right wrist.
Rondo still led the Celtics with 21 points before leaving the game late in the third quarter of a 96-73 win over the Toronto Raptors, giving Boston its first win in two weeks.
“I got some wide open looks at the rim. I made some easy ones, I made some tough ones. I was just trying to stay aggressive,” said Rondo, who spent several frightening minutes on the floor after being leveled on a flagrant foul by Linas Kleiza with 2:12 left in the third quarter.
Gingerly holding his right wrist, Rondo got up, made one of two foul shots, then slowly walked to the locker room. Xrays showed no break and Rondo said he wanted to return, but the Celtics didn’t risk it.
The Celtics blew open the game in the third quarter and led by at least 20 for much of the final period, ending their slide while extending the Raptors’ losing streak to six.
Kevin Garnett added 15 points and Paul Pierce had seven assists, five more than Rondo as the two made a surprise role reversal.
Reserves Mickael Pietrus and Brandon Bass also made big contributions for the Celtics. Pietrus made four 3- pointers and finished with 12 points and Bass had 13 points and a team- high nine rebounds.
It was Boston’s first win since beating New Jersey 89- 70 on Jan. 4.
Toronto was without center Andrea Bargnani for the fourth straight game because of a calf strain and continued its slide, falling to 4-11 this season.
Gary Forbes scored 18 points and DeMar DeRozan had 11 for the Raptors, who couldn’t overcome a slow start in the third period after keeping the Celtics close in the first half.