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While the rest of New England was watching the beloved Patriots fall to the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the playoffs, there was a good basketball game going on. The Boston Celtics traveled to Toronto to take on the Raptors who hadn’t lost at home since December 11 against Atlanta. The Celtics never trailed in the game, but the Raptors made things interesting when they brought the game within seven points before the C’s ultimately won 114-107.
Coach Doc Rivers knew that the Raptors played up-tempo basketball, so he told Rajon Rondo to beat them at their own game and Rondo answered. Rondo finished the game with his third career triple-double and first of the season. He had 22 points (9-for-17 shooting), 13 assists and 10 rebounds. He secured the triple-double with his tenth rebound with 7:08 left in the game.
“Doc put a big emphasis on it before the game to come out and get a good start. Getting off to a good start was big for us. We didn’t finish the game extremely well but we got the job done.” -Rajon Rondo
Also contributing heavily was Rasheed Wallace. Wallace had a season-high 29 points by shooting 9-for-12 from the field and 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. He also added eight rebounds, two blocks and one steal while filling in for Kevin Garnett in the starting lineup for the fifth game in a row.
The bench struggled but Eddie House came out big as he was able to pour in 11 points of his own while going 3-for-9 from downtown. The only other players off the bench to score were Shelden Williams and Glen Davis with two points apiece.
For the Raptors, Chris Bosh led all scorers with 31 points (9-for-17 shooting) while adding 13 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks before fouling out of the game. He went a perfect 13-for-13 from the free-throw line.
Hedo Turkoglustruggled for the entire game as he only posted five points on 2-for-9 shooting in 32 minutes. Turkoglu’s first points didn’t come until the third quarter. He also added nine assists and four rebounds, but seeing him struggle scoring was something the Celtics are starting to like. Against Boston this season, he has scored 5, 12, and 20 points.
The Celtics led the Raptors at halftime 59-50, with Rondo having nine assists at the time. The whole Raptors team collectively only had nine assists in the first half. Boston then outscored Toronto 34-30 in the third to go into the final quarter up by 13 points. Wallace and Rondo each had nine points in the quarter.
The Raptors then went on a little run of their own as they were able to outscore the Celtics in the final quarter 27-21 but that wasn’t enough as the Celtics went on to win for the third time against the team from Toronto this season.
“We were kind of playing the clock and they almost got back in the game,” – Doc Rivers
The Celtics next play the Atlanta Hawks Monday night at home. The Celtics will look to get revenge on the Hawks after they lost 85-93 against them on Friday night.