Celtics over Raptors from start to finish, 81-73

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Celtics over Raptors from start to finish, 81-73

BOSTON -- With just four days before their regular season opener in New York City, the Boston Celtics made the most of their final preseason game with a 81-73 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Paul Pierce (right heel) did not play and Sasha Pavlovic got the start in his place.

Rajon Rondo, often criticized for his offensive game, had the hot hand in the first quarter. He scored 10 points in eight minutes, shooting 4-for-5 from the field and making a pair of free throws. The Cs led 22-13 after the first 12 minutes.

The Celtics got a good look at Greg Steimsma in the second quarter. The big man played all but 20 seconds, scoring seven points and making hustle plays. DeMar DeRozan scored half of the Raptors 18 second-quarter points, but his efforts were not enough to get his team back in it. At halftime, the Celtics held a 47-31 lead.

But with the starters on the bench, the Celtics reserves struggled to stay consistent in the third quarter. The Raptors outscored the Cs, 22-20.

When it came down to the final quarter, a young Celtics group held off for the win. Avery Bradley, ETwaun Moore, Gilbert Brown, JaJuan Johnson, Jamal Sampson, and Steimsma all saw playing time, while veteran journeyman Michael Sweetney scored a crowd-pleasing basket.

Andrea Bargnani led all players with 20 points (7-17 FG, 68 FT) while Rondo led the Celtics with 17 points (6-10 FG, 5-6 FT) and six assists. Brandon Bass and Moore combined for 23 points off the bench.

The Celtics finished preseason action 2-0 with both wins coming against the Raptors. They will face the Knicks on Christmas Day at Madison Square Garden.

Brown fires up Celtics teammates with tomahawk dunk over Vucevic

Brown fires up Celtics teammates with tomahawk dunk over Vucevic

Well it appears that Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic wasn’t the only one who didn’t see Jaylen Brown’s powerful dunk over him coming. 
 
Apparently, Brown didn’t see it coming either. 
 
“It caught me off-guard,” Brown said after Boston’s 117-87 thumping of the Magic. “I wasn’t even expecting it. It happens. It’s part of basketball. It’s two points.”
 
The play in question came early in the second quarter when Brown blew past Jodie Meeks into the lane and took off towards the rim. 
 
Vucevic jumped late, got dunked on and the Celtics bench went bananas!
 
“It gave our team a lot of energy,” Brown acknowledged.
 
Brown understands part of his job in coming off the bench is to make an impact with effort. 
 
And in doing so, he senses that his teammate’s confidence him in and his game can only grow.
 
“I feel like my teammates are trusting me more, getting more trust from the coaching staff,” said Brown who finished with 13 points. 
 
Avery Bradley likes what he’s seen from Brown, a young player who has shown tremendous promise. 
 
And that dunk over Vucevic?
 
“You’re going to see a lot more of those in his career,” Bradley said. “He gets us going.”