BOSTON – The compact schedule of the post-lockout NBA doesn’t offer many breaks, so the Boston Celtics created one of their own.

All five Boston starters sat out the entire fourth quarter, leaving the reserves to finish off Toronto in a 100-64 rout Wednesday night.

The Celtics crept above .500 for the second time this season with their sixth win in seven games.

“It was great,” Coach Doc Rivers said. “Every guy came in and they did the same thing.”

The Celtics never trailed and scored at least 20 points in every quarter while holding Toronto to 19 points or fewer each period.

Paul Pierce had 17 points and eight assists, Ray Allen and Brandon Bass added 12 points apiece, and Avery Bradley scored 11 for the Celtics.

At 11-10, the Celtics hardly appear bound to hang another banner from the Garden rafters, but they do seem to have adjusted to the quick turnaround and lack of practice time between games.

The second half turned out to be a bonus practice for the Celtics, who led by as much as 40. Allen said he told the reserves to make good use of the time.

“Go out there and really play as though the score is 0-0. You guys make us better. You have an opportunity to prove to Coach that you can get more minutes,” Allen said. “That’s a win-win for all of us when you can play a game like that and get everybody opportunities.”

The timing for a blowout was great for the Celtics, who almost wasted a 22-point lead Tuesday night at Cleveland.

“I thought we kind of took a step back there in the fourth quarter against Cleveland, but a win is a win and we can learn from it,” Pierce said. “It was great to go out there tonight and put a team away that we’re supposed to.”

Pierce is 60 points behind Larry Bird for No. 2 on the Celtics’ all-time scoring list.

Jerryd Bayless scored 14, and Ed Davis had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors..

The Celts are above .500 for the first time since they were 4-3.

“We’ve gone through a lot. So has everyone else in the league,” Rivers said. “To start out slow like we did and get over that number, it’s good for us.”

 


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.