Celtics crush Raptors, 100-64

659404.jpg

Celtics crush Raptors, 100-64

BOSTON Beat 'em down. And then beat 'em down some more.

The Boston Celtics have seen their share of weak foes this year.

But it wasn't until Wednesday night's 100-64 thumping of the Toronto Raptors did they crush an opponent from the opening tip until the final horn sounded.

It was the kind of win that the C's (11-10) of old, are used to delivering against a Raptors team that's once again in rebuilding mode.

Even Kevin Garnett, who does a little bit of everything most nights, had a new trick for the Garden faithful.

With time running out in the second half, Garnett launched a contested 3-pointer that went in.

It was only his fifth (in 30 tries) 3-pointer as a Celtic, which gave Boston a commanding 57-35 lead.

Boston's lead ballooned past the 30-point plateau in the second half, and seemed to only grow over time. A big part of the Celtics' success was the 3-point shot, as the C's connected on a season-high 12 3-pointers.

Bolting out to such a huge lead had a much different feel about it compared to Tuesday's game in Cleveland, a game in which the Celtics led by as many as 22 points in the second half only to see that lead cut to as little as two points late in the fourth quarter before holding on for a 93-90 win.

The C's had no thoughts about Tuesday's game or any game in the past for that matter, against the Raptors.

Their focus was to do the best with what they had, as they continue to play short-handed.

Playing without Rajon Rondo (wrist) for the eighth straight game, his replacements -- Avery Bradley and E'Twaun Moore -- continue to show the kind of growth the C's like to see from its young players.

Bradley, who has been one of the C's better defenders, tied a season-high with 11 points. And Moore, more of a playmaker than defender, had eight points.

Paul Pierce led all scorers with 17 points to go with six rebounds and eight assists. The Raptors were led by Jerryd Bayless' 14 points, and Ed Davis' double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds.

First impressions: Pomeranz is better, but Red Sox fall to Tigers

First impressions: Pomeranz is better, but Red Sox fall to Tigers

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers:

 

1) The same problem remains for Joe Kelly

As a starter, no one doubted Kelly's fastball, and the velocity with which he threw it. But the problem was, Kelly's fastball was often quite straight, and most major league hitters can hit a fastball without movement, no matter how hard it's thrown.

In his first appearance as a reliever for the Red Sox, the same problem reared its head.

Kelly started off Justin Upton with a 99 mph fastball. After an 89 mph slider, Kelly next threw a 101 mph fastball.

But Upton drove it on a line to the triangle for a triple, and two batters later, trotted home on a soft flare to center by James McCann.

Velocity is one thing and can produce some swings-and-misses. But ultimately, Kelly is going to need more than straight gas to get hitters out.

 

2) Drew Pomeranz was miles better in his second start

Pomeranz failed to get an out in the fourth inning of his Red Sox debut and was charged with five runs.

So when Pomeranz -- who allowed just one hit through the first three innings Monday night -- allowed a leadoff single to Miguel Cabrera to start the fourth, there was uneasy sense of deja vu at Fenway.

But Pomeranz quickly erased Cabrera on a double play and through five innings had allowed just three hits and a walk.

He got into some trouble in the sixth when he allowed a one-out, two-run homer to Jose Iglesias, erasing what had been a 1-0 Red Sox lead.

But Pomeranz was far sharper than his first outing, threw his curveball for more strikes and kept the Tigers mostly off-balance. His line (6 IP; 4 H; 2 ER; 2 BB; 7 K) will be more than good enough on most nights.

Just not Monday night.

 

3) They may lead MLB in runs scored, but there are still nights when the Red Sox offense can frustrate

It happened last Friday when they loaded the bases with no out against the Twins - and failed to score in a 2-1 loss.

It was more of the same Monday night when the Sox loaded the bases in the ninth -- and managed just one run.

The problems weren't limited to the ninth, of course. The Sox put the leadoff man on in both the seventh and eighth innings -- and didn't score.

For the game, the Sox left 11 men on and were just 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.