BOSTON — Jared Sullinger was piling up the rebounds and needed an assist from sidelined guard Rajon Rondo to realize what was happening.
Sullinger scored 25 points and grabbed a career-best 20 rebounds, Avery Bradley had 20 points and the Boston Celtics held on Wednesday night to snap a nine-game losing streak with an 88-83 victory against the Toronto Raptors.
“I didn’t even think about it until Rondo said, ‘Look up at the scoreboard and get one more,’ ” Sullinger said of his rebounds total. “To look up and see 19 rebounds, I didn’t know I had that many.”
Sullinger’s 20-20 was the first by a Celtics player since Kevin Garnett’s first game in Boston in 2007. Garnett was dealt with Paul Pierce to Brooklyn during the offseason.
Jeff Green scored 13 points and Kris Humphries 12 for the Celtics, who nearly blew an 18-point, second-half lead.
“That might be the first time all season that we’ve won with defense,” Boston Coach Brad Stevens said of his team’s off shooting night.
The Celtics won despite hitting just 34.5 percent from the floor (29 of 84) and only 3 of 20 in the final quarter.
DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points and Kyle Lowry had 18 with 12 assists for Toronto, which lost for just the third time in 11 games.
The Raptors weren’t much better from the field, making only 38.5 percent (30 of 78).
“Honestly, we missed a lot of shots we usually make,” DeRozan said. “It was just one of those nights. That’s when you have to pick up on the defensive end and we just didn’t do it.”
Trailing 73-56 entering the final quarter, the Raptors scored 18 of the first 22 points to close the gap to 77-74 on Steve Novak’s 3 from the left corner with 41/2 minutes to play. Boston missed 13 of its first 15 shots in the opening eight minutes of the fourth.
The Raptors nailed three 3-pointers as they made their charge, with Novak hitting two and John Salmons the other.
After Toronto cut it to three, Green scored on a drive, hit one free throw and Sullinger sealed it from the line as Boston had enough to hold on.
Toronto had it down to 81-78, but DeRozan lost the ball on a drive with about 40 seconds left.
“They did a good job of keeping DeMar from getting to the basket,” Raptors Coach Dwane Casey said.
Sullinger went 4 of 4 from the line in the final 30 seconds to seal it after missing a pair.
“I knew I was getting mentally cussed out by my father,” he said. “We preach free throws in my family. My father was my high school coach.”
Boston led by four at halftime and pushed it to 53-44 on Sullinger’s one-handed flip in the lane five minutes into the third quarter, and used a 18-5 run late to open a 71-53 advantage on Sullinger’s putback with 25 seconds left in the quarter. Sullinger’s turnaround, 13-footer gave the Celtics a 73-56 after three.
WIZARDS 114, HEAT 97: Washington had a 34-point lead at home against Miami reduced to single digits before holding on.
76ERS 95, BOBCATS 92: Thaddeus Young made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left to lift Philadelphia at home.
SPURS 109, JAZZ 105: Tony Parker had 25 points and nine assists, and San Antonio escaped a late rally at home, extending its winning streak to six games.
ROCKETS 103, PELICANS 100: James Harden capped a 26-point performance with a tie-breaking jumper with 28 seconds left, and Houston held on at New Orleans for its third straight victory.
KINGS 111, TIMBERWOLVES 108: Rudy Gay had 33 points, five rebounds and six assists, and Isaiah Thomas had 26 points and seven assists to lead Sacramento to a victory at Minneapolis.
GRIZZLIES 82, BUCKS 77: Mike Conley and James Johnson each scored 15 points at Milwaukee, and Memphis won its season-high fourth straight game.
BULLS 128, MAGIC 125: Joakim Noah had a season-high 26 points, Carlos Boozer scored 23, and Chicago held on in triple overtime at Orlando, Fla.
HEAT: Greg Oden, the former overall top draft choice, played in his first NBA regular-season game in more than four years because of injuries, scoring six points in eight minutes at Washington.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS swingman Nick Young and Phoenix Suns center Alex Len were ejected after they scuffled midway through the second quarter.