NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, March 13th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Raptors (25-39) at Boston Celtics (34-29), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics will try to avenge an ugly loss
Wednesday night when they welcome their Atlantic Division rivals, the Toronto
Raptors, to TD Bank Garden.
The Celtics lost in Charlotte on Tuesday night, 100-74, to the lowly Bobcats.
The Charlotte win snapped a 10-game losing streak for them and sent the
Celtics into a two-game slide.
Head coach Doc Rivers gave Paul Pierce the night off and the C's never
responded. They trailed by three at the half, then 15 after three quarters and
lost by 26, which was their most lopsided setback since a 29-point drubbing at
the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 27.
"We approached the game with the wrong mentality," Rivers said. "We laid an
egg. We could never get it started. They played really hard. We just couldn't
match how hard they played tonight for whatever reason. That's on me. That's
disappointing that I couldn't get that out of our guys. They were clearly so
much more competitive than us the entire night."
Jeff Green, who started in place of Pierce Wednesday, and Jordan Crawford
paced the Celtics with 14 points apiece. Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley had 10
The Celtics are five back of the New York Knicks for first in the Atlantic
Division, three behind the Brooklyn Nets for fourth in the Eastern Conference
and one back of the Chicago Bulls for the fifth seed.
The Raptors returned home from a four-game road trip with a 100-96 victory on
Sunday over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Rudy Gay didn't play with back spasms and
the team traveled through the night the night before, but Toronto, led by a
pep talk at halftime, came out on top.
"Play with pride, he didn't want us to go out there and say 'Whatever, we
lose, we lose,'" Kyle Lowry said of the head coach Dwane Casey's speech. "The
team responded really well."
The Raptors were down nine points at halftime, but won the third quarter by 14
and hung on in the final frame for the victory, which was the second in their
last three games.
"It was like day and night, and I expected it just because of the schedule,"
Casey said of the first half. "Guys were groggy coming in, time change,
whatever, we had every (excuse) to mail in this game."
The Raptors were also without Andrea Bargnani, but got balanced scoring. Alan
Anderson led the way with 18 off the bench, including 10 in the fourth
Lowry, Terrance Ross, DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas and Amir Johnson also
scored in double figures.
The Celtics have won both of this season's matchups with Toronto, but are 1-2
in their last three outings up north.
03/13 10:38:29 ET