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News » Celtics add by division


Celtics add by division


Celtics add by division Having won a record 17 NBA championships, the Celtics have history on their side.

Geography has helped as well.

By playing in Boston , the Celtics belong to the Atlantic Division, by far the weakest division in the NBA. Last night, they beat the Toronto Raptors, 116-103, to improve to 5-0 against division rivals this season and 34-3 over the past three years.

The Celtics are 12-4 overall, tied with Orlando and Atlanta for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

The Raptors fell to 7-10, but that's still good enough for second place in the division. Since the Big Three was formed two years ago, Boston is the only Atlantic Division team to finish a season with a winning record. No other division has had only one team above .500 each year.

This season isn't a month old, but the Celtics already are well on their way to securing their third consecutive divisional title. Captain Paul Pierce couldn't care less.

"When have the Boston Celtics ever looked at the Atlantic Division?" Pierce asked. "We play for bigger goals. We play to get better, we play to win a championship. Since I've been here, I can't tell you how many Atlantic Division championships we've won. They don't give away nothing for that. They don't raise a banner for that in this building."

The Celtics have won three division titles with Pierce. They have won their last 11 home games against divisional rivals. Unfortunately, they're scheduled to play only one game against an Atlantic Division rival over the next five weeks, when they also play 14 of their next 19 on the road.

Boston's top six players scored in double figures, including Rasheed Wallace for only the second time in the last 11 games.

Ray Allen scored a team-high 20 points as the Celtics snapped their home Friday night losing streak at three. Paul Pierce had 18 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and a monster dunk that drove Toronto's Chris Bosh to the floor. Pierce was whistled for a technical on the play and Celtics coach Doc Rivers picked one up for trying to defend Pierce.

Kendrick Perkins shot 8 for 8 and scored a season-high 18 points. Kevin Garnett made all six of his shots and contributed 12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Wallace scored 15. Rajon Rondo recorded 12 points and 11 assists for his six double-double.

The Celtics shot a season-high 62.3 percent - their fourth-highest figure in 10 years - and scored at least 107 points for the third game in a row.

Chris Bosh and Hedo Turkoglu each scored 20 points for Toronto, but they combined for only 13 after Toronto took a 55-54 halftime lead. Former Worcester Academy star Jarrett Jack came off the bench to tie his season high of 18 points.

The Celtics outscored Toronto, 33-17, in the third quarter to take command, 87-72. Wallace closed the quarter with his third and final 3-pointer of the game. He had made only 9 of 54 3-pointers over his previous 10 games.

Turkoglu sat out most of the third quarter after picking up his fourth foul, and the Raptors weren't in the game without him, shooting only 35 percent in the quarter after shooting 66.7 percent in the first half.

"It's funny," Rivers said. "At halftime, I said, `The first team that plays defense wins, guys.' And the third quarter was terrific."

Garnett's layup capped a 13-0 run that put Boston ahead, 70-61, early in the third. Marquis Daniels' drive extended the surge to 25-5 and built Boston's lead to 82-65 late in the third.

The Celtics were hot in the first half (25 of 37), but trailed, 55-54, because they allowed Toronto to shoot nearly as well, 66.7 percent (22 of 33). The Raptors made two more treys and five more free throws than Boston.

The first-half score could have been much higher if there hadn't been more turnovers (24) than missed shots (23). Toronto had 14 turnovers and 11 misses. The Celtics had 10 turnovers and 12 misses.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 1, 2009

 

 
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