Celtics snap skid, crush Raptors, 96-73


Celtics snap skid, crush Raptors, 96-73

BOSTON When you've lost as many games as the Boston Celtics, quality wins are the last thing you're thinking about.

A win - period - is all you want.

That's exactly what the Celtics got on Wednesday as they snapped a Big Three-era worst five game losing skid, with a 96-73 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Boston (5-8), which has struggled in the first quarter, dominated the first 12 minutes to take a 29-14 lead into the second.

Toronto (4-11) cut into the C's lead, but Boston's control of the game was never in doubt.

Rajon Rondo dominated play, but not in the way that we're used to.

Rondo, who came into Wednesday's game as the NBA's co-leader in assists with Phoenix guard Steve Nash, was non-stop as a scorer.

He led all scorers with 21 points along with a season-low two assists.

Rondo's impressive scoring night could have been even better if not for a sore right wrist injury suffered with about two minutes to play after a hard foul by Toronto's Linas Kleiza.

Rondo did not return.

Kevin Garnett scored 15 points on 5-7 shooting, and Brandon Bass added 13 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the C's.

Toronto, playing without their top scorer Andrea Bargnani, was led by former UMass star Gary Forbes who had 18 points off the Raptors bench.

NFL Draft picks No. 25-31: Broncos move up to grab QB Lynch


NFL Draft picks No. 25-31: Broncos move up to grab QB Lynch

No access at Gillette? No first-round pick unless the Patriots make a swap into the latter stages of the round? No problem. We're all over it from the palatial offices here in Burlington. We go pick-by-pick through the first round.

Steelers: Artie Burns, CB, Miami

Mike Tomlin had to be a little bit miffed when he saw the Bengals take Williams Jackson III with the No. 24 pick. The Steelers needed a corner in the worst way, and their division rival took the top available player at that position one slot ahead of them. Credit Pittsburgh for sticking with its plan if it works out, though. Burns is a corner who has all the traits you could ever want -- length, athleticism, ball skills -- but he's going to need work on his technique if he wants to slow down AJ Green twice a year. 

Broncos: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

He may not be ready to start right away, but the Broncos knew what they were doing when they traded up. Lynch is a big-armed quarterback who at 6-foot-7 has enough athleticism to be able to roll out and make throws on the run -- something that will be asked of him in Gary Kubiak's offense. Mark Sanchez still may be Denver's best bet in Week 1, but if Lynch even approaches his potential in Year 1, he could see some starter's snaps. 

Packers: Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA

He's not built like BJ Raji, but Clark will help fill left the void Raji left behind when the veteran defensive tackle walked away from the game this offseason. A strong player who hasn't yet turned 21 years old, Clark has all kinds of upside to offer Mike McCarthy's defense. 

49ers: Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford

The Niners traded up to this spot, leading many to believe that they'd go after a quarterback. Connor Cook, perhaps? Instead they made the oh-so-flashy move to lock up a guard. Garnett had a lot of success in Stanford's pro-style offense playing alongside left tackle Kyle Murphy. Garnett is a machine in the running game and should be a longtime starter. 

Cardinals: Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Ole Miss

Arizona came into the draft pretty well-set offensively so adding an explosive presence on the interior like Nkemdiche helps make them a more well-rounded roster. He has plenty of off-the-field concerns, but if he can keep his head on straight, this will represent great value for coach Bruce Arians and Co. The Patriots offensive line will have its hands full Week 1 with Nkemdiche, Chandler Jones and Calais Campbell to worry about. 

Panthers: Vernon Butler, DL, Louisiana Tech

The Panthers could've used a corner or a receiver. A defensive end might've made sense, too. Instead, they went after this big-bodied monster. Weighing in at over 320 pounds, Butler handles his weight well and should be able to help collapse opposing offensive lines at the next level. A defense that was already very good just got a little better up front. 

Seahawks: Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M

The Seahawks (and quarterback Russell Wilson) can breathe easy as they escape the first round with some much-needed offensive line help. There are some questions as to where Ifedi will play on the line -- is he a guard or a right tackle? -- but his length and overall athleticism should help him turn into a building block in the trenches.