While the tragic events that took place at the Boston Marathon
are still fresh in their minds, the Boston Celtics will try to
shift their attention back to the court.
In its final tuneup before the playoffs, visiting Boston goes
for a four-game season sweep of the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday
The Celtics (41-39) will only play 81 games this season after
Tuesday’s matchup against Indiana was canceled in response to the
Boston Marathon bombings.
“Out of respect to all of the people who were affected by this,
the families, we felt like it’s just not circumstances we wanted to
play under and felt it would be the best way for us as an
organization to show our respects to all of the people who are
impacted by this,” team president Rich Gotham told the Celtics’
“I just think it was more of an emotional decision to try to do
what’s right and respect the families and understand that people
might not want to be out.”
With Indiana and Boston locked into the Eastern Conference’s No.
3 and 7 seeds, Tuesday’s cancellation won’t have any impact on the
“It would have been very difficult,” forward Shavlik Randolph
said of going through with the game.”Obviously, I don’t think
anyone’s thinking about basketball at a time like this. It
absolutely puts things in perspective. At this time you have to
think about the people that were affected, the people that were
hurt by that. That’s what’s important.”
The Celtics, who figure to come out with heavy hearts Wednesday,
have taken 20 of 24 matchups from the Raptors (33-48), including
all three this season by an average of 15.3 points. It’s unclear,
though, how coach Doc Rivers plans to use Kevin Garnett and Paul
Pierce with a first-round matchup against New York just around the
corner. Both players have dealt with injuries over the last few
“It’s a fine line between rest and health,” Pierce said. “Right
now we’re as healthy as we’re gonna be for the rest of the season.
… The most important thing is that we’re ready for the
One night after missing Friday’s 109-101 loss at Miami, Garnett
and Pierce returned Saturday as the Celtics posted their highest
point total this season in a 120-88 rout at Orlando. Courtney Lee
scored a season high-tying 20 to lead seven players in double
figures for Boston, which shot 59.3 percent. Garnett added 14 on
7-of-8 shooting and nine rebounds in just 19 minutes while Pierce
scored 12 to go along with eight assists and six boards.
The Raptors are coming off their fourth straight win and sixth
in seven games, 113-96 at Atlanta on Tuesday. DeMar DeRozan
continued his impressive play with 30 points and Rudy Gay scored 22
for Toronto, which shot 51.3 percent.
“We’re playing freely. We’re going out there and not thinking so
much, playing with our abilities and instincts,” DeRozan said.
“We’ve got a lot of talent on this team. When we play like we
played tonight, we’re tough to beat.”
DeRozan is averaging 23.9 points – 5.9 more than his season mark
– on 55.0 percent shooting during Toronto’s 6-1 run. He has,
however, been limited to 13.3 per game on 38.5 percent shooting
against Boston this season.
Toronto most recently won a season high-tying five straight Feb.
8-19. The Raptors haven’t been swept by the Celtics since