NBA - Pierce shines as Celtics beat Raptors

Mon, 03 Jan 06:03:00 2011

Paul Pierce scored 30 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 93-79 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

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Ray Allen added 23 points for the Celtics, who welcomed back Rajon Rondo after the starting point guard had missed seven consecutive games with an ankle injury.

Rondo, who entered the game as the NBA leader in assists average with 13.8, finished with four points and eight helpers in 34 minutes as Boston ended a run of two defeats.

"With him, he knows everything we run, so we were back into running stuff that was in hibernation while he was out," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.

Eastern Conference-leading Boston (25-7) played their second game without All Star Kevin Garnett, who is expected to be out for two weeks while he recovers from a calf injury sustained on Wednesday.

DeMar DeRozan recorded a team-high 27 points for the Raptors, who are dealing with their own rash of injuries and have been without leading scorer Andrea Bargnani for the last four contests.

The Raptors, losers of 11 of their last 14, are also playing without a bunch of injured players -- Sonny Weems (back), Reggie Evans (foot), Jerryd Bayless (ankle) and Peja Stojakovic (knee).

Despite being shorthanded, Toronto (11-22) held a one-point lead in the third quarter before Boston surged ahead by nine by the start of the fourth

Glen Davis. starting in place of Garnett, had 15 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for Boston.

Davis had struggled in Friday's loss to New Orleans.

"No matter what you do, he's still going to be there behind you," said Davis, of his coach.

Reuters

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