April 18, 2013

Knicks next for Celtics, in the playoffs

Boston ends the regular season with a meaningless loss heading to the playoffs.

The Associated Press

TORONTO - DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points, Rudy Gay had 19 points and nine rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors routed the Boston Celtics 114-90 on Wednesday night, finishing their season with five straight wins.

Kyle Lowry, Brandon Bass
click image to enlarge

Raptors guard Kyle Lowry tries to drive to the hoop past Celtics forward Brandon Bass during first-half action of Wednesday’s game in Toronto.

The Associated Press

Jonas Valanciunas scored 18 points, Alan Anderson had 16, and Kyle Lowry had nine points and eight assists as the Raptors matched their longest winning streak of the season. Toronto also won five straight from Feb. 8-19.

The Raptors went 30-29 after starting the season 4-19.

Jordan Crawford scored 16 points, Terrence Williams had 12 and Avery Bradley 11 for the playoff-bound Celtics, who wrapped up the regular season by losing six of their final nine games.

Wearing a black stripe on their jerseys, the Celtics played for the first time since Monday's bomb attack near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Players from both teams gathered at midcourt before tip-off to observe a moment of silence.

Neil Diamond's classic hit "Sweet Caroline," long associated with Boston's Red Sox, played as the Celtics' starters were introduced, and a message on stadium scoreboards read, "Tonight we are all Boston fans." In the stands opposite the Toronto bench, three female fans held up a sign that read, "Send Boston Love."

Boston had not played since Saturday night at Orlando. Their Tuesday night home game against Indiana was canceled after the bombings.

Kevin Garnett (left ankle) and Jason Terry (sore leg) didn't play for Boston, which is locked into the seventh seed in the East and will meet the New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs.

Paul Pierce, who missed Monday's practice due to illness, started for Boston but missed the second half. He had 11 points in 15 minutes, going 5 of 7 from the field.

Gay scored 12 points in the first and Valanciunas added nine, but Crawford banked in a 3 at the buzzer to pull Boston to 31-30 after one quarter.

Anderson scored five points as Toronto widened its lead with a 10-0 run early in the second. The Raptors led 59-49 at the half.

Celtics forward Shavlik Randolph left at halftime with a sore lower back. Randolph had five points in 12 minutes.

Boston's Jeff Green started the second half with a jumper but the Raptors answered with a 13-0 run, including 3-pointers by Lowry and Amir Johnson, to take a 72-51 lead.

DeRozan scored 15 points in the third quarter and Toronto led 96-70 heading into the final period.

NOTES: Terrence Ross of Toronto sat out for the third time in four games with a sore left ankle. ... Toronto was 21-20 at home, its first winning record since the 2009-10 season.


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