It was a banner day in the NBA's Atlantic Division, as all five teams won their games and the standings stayed the same
The Boston Celtics beat the Portland Trail Blazers by 18 points Friday night without Rajon Rondo, serving the first of his two-game suspension after initiating a brawl against the Brooklyn Nets. Jason Terry started in Rondo's place, scored 17 points with just one assist. The Celtics team made up for Rondo's unselfishness. Paul Pierce and Courtney Lee each had five assists and Kevin Garnett had four. In the end, the Celtics had 20 assists on 36 made field goals, which is not an awful number.
The Celtics didn't make up any ground on the Nets and Knicks, however. The Nets went on the road and, starting Andray Blatche in place of an injured Brook Lopez, defeated the Orlando Magic 98-86. The Nets were paced by Joe Johnson, who had 22, and Gerald Wallace, who scored 20 points on just 9 attempts.
The New York Knicks stopped the Washington Wizards' one-game winning streak, taking it to the league's worst team at Madison Square Garden, 107-86. J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony scored 20 apiece to lead the Knickerbockers, who started Anthony at small forward for, if not the first time, one of the first times this season. Kurt Thomas started at power forward, but played just seven minutes.
The two teams expected to round out the bottom of the Atlantic, the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors, also won. The Sixers, continuing to play without Andrew Bynum, beat the Charlotte Bobcats 108-96. Evan Turner had 25 points, 10 rebounds and no turnovers and Jrue Holiday dished out 15 assists. The Raptors beat the Phoenix Suns, who might be the coldest team in the league, 101-97. DeMar DeRozan led all scorers with 23 points.