Celtics-Raptors: What you saw

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Celtics-Raptors: What you saw

BOSTON Finally, the Boston Celtics are done streaking!

Wednesday's 96-73 victory for Boston snapped a five-game losing streak and in the process, extended the Toronto Raptor's losing skid to six and counting.

Before the game, we pointed out four areas to keep tabs on that would be major factors who won. Now that the game is over, we point out how it all actually went down.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR - If you're looking for a lot of points scored, you're not going to like tonight's game which features two of the NBA's lowest-scoring clubs. The C's average 89.8 points per game which ranks 26th in the NBA. The Raptors are even worse, averaging 86 points per game which ranks 29th in the league.

WHAT YOU SAW - The Celtics' were clicking at both ends of the floor. When you combine that with facing a bad team that was without their best scorer (Andrea Bargnani) because of injury, it's not a stretch that the C's dominated the game with such relative ease.

MATCHUP TO WATCH - Rajon Rondo vs. Jose Calderon. Similar style, both playmakers are more concerned with getting their teammates shots than taking them. However, both players sense a need to change that up some, which is why both are shooting the ball more than usual. Still, these two veterans will continue to rack up the assists. Rondo is tied for first in the NBA with 10 assists per game. Calderon is third with 9.1 assists per game.

WHAT YOU SAW: Rondo had no problem getting to the basket anytime he wanted to. He led all scorers with 21 points on 7-for-8 shooting from the field.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Paul Pierce. All eyes are usually on the Captain anyway. But you can expect folks to pay even closer attention to him after a report earlier this week indicated that playoff-contending teams are inquiring about whether the C's are willing to trade him.

WHAT YOU SAW: Pierce prides himself on giving the game whatever it needs. On Wednesday, he was needed to be more of a facilitator instead of a scorer. Along with eight points, Pierce also had a game-high seven assists.

STAT TO TRACK: Field goal percentage defense: The magic number for the Celtics is 45. The C's are 0-5 when teams have shot 45 percent or better from the field against them.

WHAT YOU SAW: Boston controlled the boards and contested most shots. Doing those two things against a bad team like Toronto, all but guarantees you a convincing win which is exactly what the Celtics got on Wednesday.

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights: Devin Booker puts up 70 points but Celtics get the win

Highlights from the TD Garden as Devin Booker had a historic performance where he scored 70 points, but it wasn't enough to get the win over the Celtics.

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

Thomas on Suns: 'We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery'

BOSTON – Stacking wins on top of wins is the mindset of the Boston Celtics right now, so the players who did speak to the media following Friday’s 130-120 win over Phoenix drove that point home emphatically.

But inside the locker room, it was unusually quiet, the kind of silence you expect following a loss.

Considering how the Celtics’ defense was absolutely thrashed by Devin Booker’s franchise record 70 points, there’s no question at a minimum the Celtics’ pride overall was stung.

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And when Suns coach Earl Watson began calling time-outs and having his team commit fouls at the end of the game, there’s no question it rubbed a few Celtics the wrong way.

“I don’t think anybody has ever seen that; continuing to call time-outs, continuing to foul when we are up 15. But I mean, it was obvious what they were trying to do. They were trying to get him (Booker) the most points possible. Hat off to to him (Booker). He played a hell of a game.”

Following the game, Watson defended his late-game decision making.

“Calling time-outs at the end kept the game close,” he said. “It’s basketball; I’m not coming to any arena to be liked. If people don’t like us while we build … so what? Do something about it.”

The Suns (22-51) never came any closer than 10 points, which was the final score margin.

Al Horford acknowledged that there was some aggravation following the game.

“You can be frustrated when somebody is doing that to you,” he said. “It’s not to one guy, it’s to the team so I think we’re probably more aggravated at ourselves, at least personally I feel that way. I probably could have done a little better, maybe done some different things to prevent it. We got to give him credit, 70 points, I don’t care it’s 70, he got 70. It’s impressive.”

But there will be some inside the Celtics locker room and among their fan base, who were bothered by the Suns’ late-game actions which seemed more focused on Booker getting numbers than anything else.

When asked about being disrespected by the Suns’ late-game strategy, Thomas wanted no part of that conversation.

“It is what it is,” Thomas said. “We won the game. We’re worried about the playoffs; they’re worried about the lottery.”

 Boom!