A win, finally. It was against the Toronto Raptors, who were playing without their best player (Andrea Bargnani), but the Celtics were desperate for a win even if tonight’s game was played against the cast of Les Miserables.
The Celtics wasted no time seizing the lead. Rajon Rondo darted to the hoop and continued to attack for the remainder of his stay on the court (which was cut short — we’ll get to that), nearly outscoring the entire Raptors team in the first quarter, when he tallied 13 points compared to Toronto’s 14. Boston’s All-Star point guard did not register a single assist in the first half, but there are nights this season when his mentality is turned inside out and reads merely “score, score, score.”
Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal looked far less dead today, due either to a renewed vigor or to their matchup against Aaron Gray/Ed Davis/Amir Johnson/whichever other cardboard cutout Dwyane Casey put into the Raptors’ lineup. Paul Pierce created a lot of offense but also missed a number of open looks. Greg Stiemsma looked good in limited minutes. Mickael Pietrus continues to hit shots and pester opponents. E’Twaun Moore made some good things happen with the pass, but shot like Avery Bradley is now contagious. Speaking of Bradley, he looked pretty good in garbage time (as he sometimes does). Brandon Bass hit the boards hard and nearly recorded a double-double. Ray Allen had his second straight 2-7 game. And the Celtics held Toronto (or Toronto held themselves) to 37.7 percent shooting.
Rondo was flagrant fouled by Linas Kleiza late in the third quarter and dropped to the ground like a sack of bricks (which coincidentally might have been the same sack from which Toronto was shooting). Trainer Ed Lacerte quickly rushed to Rondo’s side and the point guard looked to be in a lot of pain, but stepped to the foul line to shoot the two free throws before heading to the locker room. The team said he suffered a sore wrist and could possibly return, but the Celtics were ahead by too many points for Rondo to test the wrist again tonight.