Live Blog: Celtics at Raptors


January 10, 2010

Live Blog: Celtics at RaptorsFinal, Celtics 114-107: A wire-to-wire win for the Celtics in the finale of a three-game road trip as they top the Raptors for the seventh straight time.

Rajon Rondo's third career triple-double goes into the books at 22 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds. Rasheed Wallace nets 29 points in his best effort as a Celtic. Four others score in double figures in a limited rotation for Doc Rivers.

Boston gets little time to rest as it must face Atlanta at home on Monday night, part of a stretch of four games in five days for the C's. The Hawks are 2-0 against the Celtics this season, including Friday's win in Philips Arena. We will be following the much-anticipated rematch courtside so make sure to check back for all the in-game analysis.

Fourth quarter, 46.5 seconds, Celtics 112-104: A huge steal by Rasheed Wallace and a pull-up jumper by Paul Pierce and order has been restored.

Just a phenomenal game for Wallace, who had just had a rare miss from long range before the steal.

Fourth quarter, 1:28, Celtics 110-104: Kendrick Perkins had missed four straight free throws before making two big ones right there.

Fourth quarter, 2:06, Celtics 108-102: An uncharacteristic play by Ray Allen as he fails to get a shot off before the shot clock expires.

Fourth quarter, 2:18, Celtics 108-102: Jarrett Jack scores to pull the Raptors within six points again, matching the smallest deficit of the second half.

Fourth quarter, 2:53, Celtics 108-100: A 3-pointer by Hedo Turkoglu – just his second basket of the game – keeps Toronto within shouting distance.

Now all the Raptors need is a few stops, which have been hard to come by. Rajon Rondo has gotten to the rim at will and if the shot isn't there he has no problem finding someone to pass to. Expect plenty more of that in the last few minutes.

Fourth quarter, 3:50, Celtics 106-97: A 9-2 run after the timeout by the Raptors have made this a game – again.

While Boston dominates this series it seems to always allow Toronto to hang around. A year ago tomorrow the C's nearly lost a huge lead before settling for a 94-88 win on this court.

Fourth quarter, 6:24, Celtics 102-88: Rajon Rondo pulls down his 10th rebound to secure his third career triple-double. Of course, he had three during the playoffs last spring, so it's now six times he has accomplished the feat.

Including the playoffs Rondo is now tied with Paul Pierce on the Celtics all-time list, behind only Antoine Walker and Larry Bird, who is first with 69.

Moments after Rondo accomplishes the feat, Rasheed Wallace hits his fifth 3-pointer to open things up a bit.

Fourth quarter, 7:35, Celtics 97-88: Another nice play by Glen Davis as he gets a deflection to break up a Raptors possession.

It went for naught as the Celts could not convert on the other end, and Eddie House was called for his fifth foul on the other end.

Fourth quarter, 9:51, Celtics 95-87: In the few seconds it took to type the last post the Raptors scored five quick points and are back withing single digits, forcing a quick timeout by Doc Rivers.

The last meeting between these two teams went a bit like this, with Boston controlling things but never really pulling away. Toronto never got within one possession down the stretch, however.

Fourth quarter, 9:56, Celtics 95-85: Glen Davis has had a rough game for the most part, but just drew an offensive foul and then hit a short jumper for his first basket of the game.

End of third quarter, Celtics 93-80: This is a very impressive offensive showing for the Celtics, who have scored 29, 30 and 34 points in the first three quarters.

As an example of just how soft the Raptors are from time to time, Rajon Rondo just had back-to-back layups that didn't look all that different from a pre-game warmup.

Rondo is one rebound shy of his third career triple-double (excluding the three he had in the postseason). He and five others have scored in double figures already for the Celts, who are shooting 56 percent from the floor.

Third quarter, 55.5 seconds, Celtics 89-77: Eddie House misses one 3-pointer but makes the next one after the C's secure an offensive rebound.

Third quarter, 2:39, Celtics 84-74: Toronto had sliced a 15-point lead down to six and it looked again as if the C's might be mired in a third-quarter swoon.

But Ray Allen hits a big jumper and Kendrick Perkins scores on another assist from Rajon Rondo, who now has 11.

Third quarter, 3:30, Celtics 80-72: Jay Triano's face was just priceless after Rajon Rondo induces a shooting foul by heaving a ball over his shoulder while on the ground being fouled.

Rondo makes just 1-of-2.

Third quarter, 4:01, Celtics 79-72: While he has had a hand in limiting Hedo Turkoglu it has been a tough offensive showing for Paul Pierce, who just banged his right knee against a Raptors defender and lost the ball.

Pierce has 10 points on 2-of-7 shooting and three assists.

Third quarter, 4:56, Celtics 76-68: Another 3-pointer for Rasheed Wallace and he has established a new high as a Celtic with 22 points.

Third quarter, 6:24, Celtics 73-64 : Rasheed Wallace is having a monster game while his new nemisis Hedo Turkoglu has fizzled. Must make 'Sheed smile.

Wallace just hit his third 3-pointer in four tries and has 19 points, while Turkoglu didn't score his first basket until just before the commercial timeout.

Turkoglu is 1-of-6 from the floor and 0-of-2 from the line.

Third quarter, 8:50, Celtics 68-53: Raptors coach Jay Triano erupts off the bench to argue for a call but instead gets a technical foul.

Triano was complaining about Kendrick Perkins being a bit too physical. Instead the C's get three points out of the trip and have a game-high 15-point lead.

Third quarter, 9:43, Celtics 62-53: Remember as you watch the third quarter that this has been the danger zone for the C's on this trip.

They built and then lost an eight-point bulge in the third quarter against Miami on Wednesday and then collapsed in the third at Atlanta, getting smoked to the tune of a 23-4 run at one point.

Third quarter, 10:50, Celtics 61-50: We're underway in the second half at Air Canada Centre and immediately Rajon Rondo scores to give Boston its largest lead of the game.

Halftime, Celtics 59-50: Boston has an 11-6 run to close the half.

The Celtics never trailed after scoring the first 10 points of the game and there is nothing that indicates that the Raptors have figured out how to beat this team.

Then again, this is a very similar game to the one Boston played Friday, when it fired away from the outside with great success before going cold in the second half.

One can see a similar scenario unfolding in the second half with the Green on the tail end of a tough road trip with a few bodies still on the mend. Watch for shots hitting the front rim and you know the legs might be going.

But before we get that far, credit to Rajon Rondo and Rasheed Wallace for a pair of great first halves. Rondo finished with nine points, nine assists and six rebounds, while Wallace has 13 points already.

Second quarter, 1:16, Celtics 53-46: The C's had issues on the line a few times in Friday's loss to Atlanta (Paul Pierce missing three straight down the stretch comes to mind) and are just 7-of-12 in this one.

Again, however, they are doing damage from the perimeter. Rasheed Wallace makes his 48th of the season and Boston's sixth of the game to open up a seven-point lead.

Second quarter, 3:33, Celtics 47-40: Three times now the Celtics have beat the shot clock with rushed shots from the left side, two of which were banked in.

Ray Allen was the latest to pull it off, cashing in from about 15 feet.

Second quarter, 5:07, Celtics 43-38: What a shot by Eddie House, who fades away and hits a high-arching shot to break a little Raptors run.

House still has a pretty remarkable streak alive in which he has not turned the ball over in over 140 minutes of playing time. He has struggled with his shot at times this season but consistently provides quality minutes, at least on the offensive end.

Second quarter, 8:34, Celtics 39-33: There has been some really sloppy play on both ends in this one with the teams combining for 13 turnovers already, several of them of the embarrassing variety. 

And just like Friday in Atlanta, the C's are staying in front early based on superior 3-point shooting. Eddie House just buried his first two to make Boston 5-of-11 from the arc. Toronto has made just one 3-pointer.

That trend reversed itself in the second half against the Hawks.

Second quarter, 11:55, Celtics 29-26: We mentioned what Rajon Rondo has been able to do, much of it from the perimeter.

But it's been in the lane where the C's have dominated the Raptors this season. Through the first two meetings Boston had a 116-78 advantage in points in the paint.

End of first quarter, Celtics 29-26: While one local sports team looks like it did not show up today, the Celtics put forth a pretty solid first 12 minutes.

They scored the game's first 10 points and weathered a Raptors push midway through the quarter.

Rajon Rondo finished the quarter with nine points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal. Perhaps a triple-double is in his future.

Chris Bosh has led Toronto with 10 points and five rebounds.

First quarter, 1:46, Celtics 26-19: Rajon Rondo is just lighting up the Raptors thus far. He has seven points, five rebounds and four assists against zero turnovers.

Rondo's counterpart, Jarrett Jack, is scoreless on 0-of-2 shooting.

First quarter, 2:11, Celtics 26-19: Ray Allen misses a free throw after a technical foul and the Celts' cold streak continues, until Rajon Rondo banks in a 3-pointer.

First quarter, 4:29, Celtics 21-17: Rasheed Wallace has had some very testy moments against the Raptors this season and has made his presence felt early in this one.

Wallace has six points and just picked up his second foul on a questionable whistle underneath. He then showed his displeasure with the call in a very animated way.

Surprisingly, Wallace and Hedo Turkoglu have not come together yet. No love lost there.

First quarter, 5:05, Celtics 16-13: Five straight points by the Raptors has stabilized things a bit for the hosts. The C's have cooled off a bit after making their first four shots.

First quarter, 8:24, Celtics 12-4: Rajon Rondo is the last Celtics starter to score, but he already had four assists and three rebounds by the time he got into the scoring column.

First quarter, 9:25, Celtics 10-2: Chris Bosh gets the Raptors on the board from the line, but they have missed their first five shots from the floor and have one turnover.

First quarter, 10:28, Celtics 10-0 : So much for my theory that the Raptors would come out on fire. The Celtics score the first 10 points of the game, the last six on consecutive 3-pointers by Ray Allen and Paul Pierce.

First quarter, 11:55, 0-0: After the Raptors dropped their sixth straight game to the Celtics in Boston last weekend, Toronto coach Jay Triano said simply that his team has to learn to play like Boston, citing their physical style specifically.

Sure enough, the Raptors are just too soft too often. Look for them to come out a bit more aggressive in this one.

1:02 p.m.: The Celts are going with what has become their regular starting lineup on this trip, tossing out Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Rasheed Wallace and Kendrick Perkins.

Toronto, which has had point guard Jose Calderon back for a few games now, goes with Jarrett Jack and DeMar DeRozan in the backcourt, Hedo Turkoglu and Chris Bosh at forward and Andrea Bargnani underneath.

12:45 p.m.: We are just minutes from tip and while we wait for the starting lineups to come in, here's a quick thought.

While the Celtics are struggling to establish consistency through injuries and illness and could use a successful end to their road trip, this has become a very big game for the Raptors.

I don't believe for a minute that Toronto has what it takes to catch the Celtics in the Atlantic Division, but with a win they could at least start dreaming of such a scenario. By beating Boston the Raptors would be just 6.5 games back and would have nine wins in 10 games, certainly something to hang their hat on.

Again, it's a bit of a stretch but for Toronto to be in such a position after a miserable 33-win season means something.

9:19 a.m.: If not for the Celtics, more people might be talking about the Toronto Raptors right now.

Boston is the only team Toronto has lost to in its last nine games and continues to hold a sizable lead over the Raptors in the Atlantic Division. But Toronto can stay hot, end its woes against the Green and climb a bit closer in the standings when the teams meet in a matinee at Air Canada Centre.

The kick-off, I mean tip, is set for 1:00, and those not committed to the pigskin can follow all the action right here.

The contest marks the end of a three-game road trip for the C's, who fell to 14-5 away from home when they dropped a 93-85 decision in Atlanta on Friday night. Paul Pierce went for 21 points for Boston, which shot 40.8 percent in falling to 0-2 against the Hawks. Atlanta visits TD Garden on Monday night. Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett were each absent when the C's knocked off the Raptors at home last weekend. Ray Allen had 23 points to lead the hosts. Chris Bosh paced Toronto with 25. While Garnett remains out for this one, Tony Allen is expected back after battling the stomach bug that is working its way through the locker room. The Raptors have lost six straight and 10 of 11 in the series.

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