NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 6th
(All times Eastern)
Boston Celtics (24-23) at Toronto Raptors (17-31), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics are shockingly 4-0 since Rajon Rondo
went down with a torn ACL and they will try to continue their winning streak
Wednesday night in Toronto against the Raptors.
All four victories during this current run came at home, but the Celtics have
been impressive in the absence of Rondo, who was voted to start for the
Eastern Conference in the All-Star game.
Two of these wins also occurred without Jared Sullinger. The rookie became the
starting power forward, but was sidelined for the season after back surgery.
"I'll tell you the truth, I didn't even know we won four in a row, I just know
that we have been moving the basketball, playing as hard as crap, playing
together since we lost two big guys," said Kevin Garnett.
After wins over the defending champion Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings and
Orlando Magic, the Celtics nearly squandered a 15-point lead heading into the
Paul Pierce drained a step-back 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds showing on the
clock to ice the 106-104 victory, which only ended at that score when Jamal
Crawford made a long 3-pointer as time expired.
Pierce led the way with 22 points and Garnett added 12.
The bench was huge for Boston. Jeff Green, Jason Terry and Leandro Barbosa
each scored in double figures and the reserves tallied 52 points.
The Raptors have been slumping of late, losing four of their last five. More
importantly, perhaps, is that they are 1-1 since the addition of wingman Rudy
Brought over in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies, Gay scored 20 points in
his debut Saturday night, a 98-73 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
In a Sunday loss to the Heat, Gay started and scored a team-high 29 points.
"I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent comfortable," Gay said after the loss to the
Heat. "I'm still feeling my way out there. I still think this is a game we
could've won. We still have a couple things to iron out in practice."
The Raptors took a six-point lead into the second half, but were outscored by
21 in the second half.
"I say for three-and-a-half quarters we played them as well as anybody in the
league," said Gay. "The fact that we haven't been together for a long time,
they exposed that in the fourth and a little bit in the third."
Landry Fields missed the Heat game with back spasms and Andrea Bargnani could
be back in the lineup on Wednesday. He has missed the last 26 games with a
torn right elbow ligament and strained right wrist.
The Raptors have won two of the last three in this series, both coming at
home, but the Celtics won this season's only matchup, a 107-89 victory on Nov.
17 in Boston.
02/06 10:33:25 ET
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