RaptorsHQ Rapid Recap - Toronto Raptors 86 - Boston Celtics 74


-Yep, you read that right. The Toronto Raptors cruised past a sleepy Celtics' squad en route to an 86 to 74 win tonight in TO. The Raps started strong, and never really looked back as C's just couldn't make the plays they needed to get much closer than 10.

-The Raptors used a 26 to 14 first-quarter advantage to set the tone in this one. A Mickael Pietrus 3-pointer at the buzzer saved the lead from being 15 for TO as the Dinos came out with more fire and aggression than they had in a long time. Boston on the other hand still looked hungover from the previous night's OT loss to the LA Lakers and barely put up a fight. Turnovers, bad shot selection and a general malaise plagued the Celts and they dug themselves too big of a hole to get out of early.

-Unfortunately the second quarter looked a lot more like a game of dodgeball than basketball as both teams piled up the turnovers. The teams had 20 turnovers at the half, but it was Boston having most of the TO troubles, and it prevented them from chopping down much of Toronto's lead.

-The second half was no better for Boston, as every time they made a run, a much more spry Raptors' squad would answer via a dunk or long-range bomb. Boston even tried some of their usual bully tactics late in the game, but it was all for naught as the Raps rode out the victory.

-DeMar DeRozan continued his recent streak of improved play, attacking from the start and posting a game-high 21 points on 7 of 13 shooting. He also got to the line seven times and was a team-high plus 25 on the night. He got lots of help in this one too as Jose Calderon and Amir Johnson had double doubles (17 points, 14 assists and 12 points and 12 rebounds respectively) and others like Aaron Gray, James Johnson and Linas Kleiza all made key contributions.

-Boston got nothing from their backcourt of Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo scoring-wise (11 points combined) and this was a major issue all night. The team shot 45 per cent from the field, but the team's normal top guns like Paul Pierce struggled all night, and simply looked gassed from the night before.

-Toronto's win is only their third over Boston in the last 20 games so it feels especially rewarding I'm sure, especially given the thrashing the C's handed out to TO last time these teams met.

-A final note on this recap, it's up admittedly later than usual and for that I'll blame Jeremy Lin. If you haven't seen highlights of his play tonight against Kobe and the Lakers, take a quick look on the old world wide web. Suddenly next Tuesday's match-up with the Knicks just got a lot more interesting...

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