Celtics 117, Raptors 112
Rajon Rondo didn’t take a single free throw in Boston’s first
three preseason games. He’s turned that trend around in the
Celtics’ past two contests.
Nate Robinson scored 23 points, Rondo had 21 and the Celtics
beat the Toronto Raptors 117-112 in an exhibition game Friday
Rondo shot 12 for 15 at the line, as Boston outscored Toronto
41-30 in the third quarter to put the Raptors away.
”We had a lot of opportunities on the fast break,” Rondo said.
”I just tried to go and attack and draw fouls.”
Celtics coach Doc Rivers spoke to Rondo during Wednesday’s win
at New York and urged him to try and get to the line more
”At halftime of the Knick game I told him, at that point, he
hadn’t taken a free throw in the preseason,” Rivers said. ”I said
‘Rondo, you have to get to the line.”’
Rondo took the advice, attempting four free throws in the second
half of that game before Friday’s third quarter burst.
Besides Rondo’s newfound aggressiveness, Rivers was also happy
with his team’s defensive effort.
”The first five minutes of the third quarter, that was our
Celtic defense,” Rivers said. ”You felt for the first time since
the first preseason game, they just locked in. There were no shots
Boston led by 29 but had to hold on late for its fifth win in
six preseason games as the Raptors rallied from a 101-73 deficit
after three quarters, outscoring the Celtics 39-16 in the
Toronto’s Sonny Weems made a pair of 3-pointers and Marcus Banks
made one of two from the line to cut it to 112-108 with 38 seconds
left, but Robinson answered with a pair of free throws to push the
lead back to six.
The late push did little to calm Raptors coach Jay Triano, who
was furious with his team’s lack of effort in the first three
”We didn’t work hard until the fourth quarter,” Triano fumed.
”We got our (butts) kicked.”
Linas Kleiza and Andrea Bargnani each scored 15 points for the
Raptors, who have lost three of four.
Ray Allen scored 15 points, and Marquis Daniels and Von Wafer
each had 14 for the defending Eastern Conference champions.
Boston starters Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal both played 15
minutes, with Garnett scoring eight points and O’Neal adding
Bargnani continued to struggle with his shooting, going 5 for
16. The top pick in the 2006 draft, Bargnani is 16 for 64 in five
Weems and Leandro Barbosa each scored 12 points for the Raptors,
with Banks and Amir Johnson both adding 10.
Boston forward Glenn Davis, who skipped Wednesday’s win at New
York with a sore left knee, returned to the lineup but fouled out
after scoring five points in 10 minutes.
The Celtics shot 7 for 11 from 3-point range in the first half,
including two each from Daniels and Robinson, to lead 60-43 at the
NOTES: Shaquille O’Neal (hip) did not play for the Celtics, who
were also without Paul Pierce. Shaq and Pierce are expected to play
against the New York Knicks in Hartford, Conn., on Saturday. …
Boston’s Stephane Lasme, from Gabon, did not travel to Toronto
because coach Doc Rivers wanted to avoid any visa problems at
customs. Delonte West (back spasms) also skipped the trip. …
Former Raptors player Charles Oakley attended the game, as did
actor Steve Schirripa.