|Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye.||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets|
Paul Pierce had 17 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists for the Boston Celtics en route to a 100-64 thrashing of the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night. The Celtics improved to 11-10 with the victory and now post their first winning record since starting 4-3. Jared Bayless scored 14 off the bench for the Raptors who scored less than 70 points for the third time this season.
Kevin Garnett hit a 3 to end the first half and push the Celtics lead to 22. The Celtics led the Raptors by at least 20 points the rest of the way. Allen connected from beyond the arc with 3 minutes remaining in the third quarter to push the lead to 30.
While the Celtics shot exceptionally, they also played stellar defense. The Celtics held the Raptors to just 32 percent shooting from the field. The Celtics allowed the Raptors to score no more than 19 points in a quarter. Boston also out-rebounded Toronto 46-39
Wins like Wednesday’s against will certainly help the Celtics weather the condensed season. Kevin Garnett played just 17 minutes and Jermaine O’Neal barely played a full quarter with 14 minutes. No Celtics’ starter played more than 26 minutes.
The Celtics’ bench not only chipped in minutes, but also had it’s best outing of the season. Boston’s bench combined for a season high 47 points. Chris Wilcox was the only active Celtic not to score. Rookie JaJuan Johnson had his best game of his young career as he scored 11 points and didn’t miss a single one of his 5 shot attempts.
Ed Davis had 10 points and 15 rebounds and was the only Raptor beside Bayless to score in double figures.
The Celtics hit the court again Friday when they clash with the reeling New York Knicks in a nationally televised game. Rajon Rondo missed his eighth straight game with a sprained wrist. Doc Rivers said before the game that Rondo may give it a go on Friday.