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Monday, Nov. 19, 2012

Rondo has 20 assists; Celtics blast Raptors

AP

BOSTON — Rajon Rondo made up for lost time in a big way for the Boston Celtics after missing a game because of a sprained right ankle.

News photo
Spread the wealth: Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo drives past the Raptors' Jose Calderon on Saturday in Boston. AP

Rondo had 20 assists for the second time this season and added six points to help the Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 107-89 on Saturday.

Jason Terry scored 20 points, Paul Pierce added 19 points and six rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter, and Kevin Garnett scored 15 points in 17 minutes of playing time.

The Celtics held big leads early and late, but had to survive several surges in between while winning for the fourth time in five games. And any worries Boston fans might have had about Rondo's ankle were quickly washed away when he had seven assists in the first quarter.

"We have an offense and then he creates another offense at times," Boston coach Doc Rivers said.

Rondo appeared at full strength after sitting out a loss at Brooklyn on Thursday night. He had 11 assists at halftime, extending his streak of consecutive games with double-digit assists to 33.

"Something I look forward to every game is just trying to make my teammates happy. And somehow I keep getting to 10," Rondo said. "Tonight it was a collective team effort as far as assists."

The Celtics had assists on 37 of 43 field goals, with Rondo leading the way and finishing just four shy of his career high.

Rondo, who played only 1:26 in the fourth quarter, is within four games of tying John Stockton for the second-longest streak in NBA history for consecutive games with 10 or more assists. Magic Johnson holds the record at 46.

"I'm making some OK passes — just taking what the defense gives me," Rondo said. "It means my teammates are making shots."

Garnett was 6 for 7 from the field, and Terry 7 of 10, including four 3-pointers in his highest-scoring game as a member of the Celtics. Rookie Jared Sullinger had his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Andrea Bargnani and John Lucas led Toronto with 15 points apiece. DeMar DeRozan, Jose Calderon, Terrence Ross and Linas Kleiza added 10 each for Toronto.

Boston shot 56.6 percent against the struggling Raptors, who are off to a 2-7 start, and all 10 Celtics who played had at least two field goals.

"We can't afford to play such bad defense — especially against this type of team," Bargnani said. "One day we play good defense and then there are games like today where we play very bad defense, so I can't say it's getting better. We have to focus more and give a better effort."

Grizzlies 94, Bobcats 87

In Charlotte, Mike Conley scored 20 points and the Grizzlies beat the Bobcats for their eighth consecutive victory.

Mavericks 103, Cavaliers 95

In Cleveland, O.J. Mayo scored 19 points and the Mavericks used a pair of 9-0 runs in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

Jazz 83, Wizards 76

In Washington, Al Jefferson scored 21 points, Gordon Hayward added 15 in his first game as a reserve this season, and the Jazz kept the Wizards winless.

Clippers 101, Bulls 80

In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin scored 12 of his 26 points in the final six minutes and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Heat 97, Suns 88

In Phoenix, Chris Bosh scored 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting, ailing LeBron James added 21 and the Heat closed a six-game road trip with a victory.

Spurs 126, Nuggets 100

In San Antonio, Manu Ginobili had 20 points and the Spurs set a season high for points.

Bucks 117, Hornets 113

In Milwaukee, Monta Ellis scored six of his 22 points in the final 2 minutes to help the Bucks hold off New Orleans.



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