Rajon Rondo had 20 assists, six points, two rebounds and one steal as the Boston Celtics (6-4) thrashed the Toronto Raptors (2-7), 107-89, Saturday afternoon from the TD Garden in Boston, MA.
After opening up a 16-point lead in the first half, Boston's poor play from the second quarter continued into the third, until they woke up from their slump and turned up their defensive intensity.
Toronto would cut the lead to three and that would be as close Boston allowed it to get. The Celtics forced three turnovers in the final 2:18 of the third quarter and would go on an 18-5 run to close the quarter, extending their lead on the afternoon to 15.
Boston showed up in the fourth quarter not allowing a point from the Raptors over the first three minutes, using a 6-0 run to get up 85-67. But more importantly for the Celtics, on the first night of a back-to-back, their starters weren't required to play big minutes and the game was never truly out of hand.
Boston starters Jason Terry had a season-high 20 points, Paul Pierce chipped in 19 and Kevin Garnett had 15. Toronto had even production from the starters and their bench, with Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon and DeMar DeRozan all scoring in double digits, while bench guys Linas Kleiza and John Lucas also recorded double-digit afternoons.
The Celtics shot 56 percent from the field, allowing the Raptors to connect on only 42 percent of their shots. Boston had 37 rebounds on the afternoon, while dishing out 37 assists as a team. Toronto notched 36 percent from three-point land, but only connected on 67 percent of it's attempts from the charity stripe.
Rajon Rondo had a season-high 20 assists, making it 33-straight games in which he has recorded 10 or more assists.
Rookie Jared Sullinger had a career-high 12 points and 11 rebounds over 26 minutes, recording his first double-double of his career.
Paul Pierce passed Hakeem Olajuwon for 18th all-time in free throw attempts with 7,623 FTAs after attempting six free throws Saturday.
Boston will look to get on another win streak when they travel to the Palace of Auburn Hills Sunday to match up against Greg Monroe and the Detroit Pistons at 7:30 pm ET.
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