Rondo hands out 20 assists in C’s victory
The Associated Press | November 18,2012
BOSTON — Jason Terry scored 20 points and Rajon Rondo tied his season high with 20 assists as Boston beat Toronto 107-89 on Saturday.
Paul Pierce added 19 points and six rebounds and Kevin Garnett scored 15 for Boston, which took a 17-point lead in first quarter, then held off several runs by the Raptors before pulling away midway through the second half.
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 scored 10 each for Toronto, which has struggled to a 2-7 start.
The Celtics scored 11 straight over the end of the third quarter and first few minutes of the fourth to go up by 21 points.
Rondo appeared at full strength after sitting out the loss at Brooklyn on Thursday with a sprained right ankle. He had seven assists in the first quarter and 11 at halftime, extending his streak of consecutive games with double-digit assists to 33.
Rondo’s streak is the third-longest in NBA history and puts him within four games of tying John Stockton. Magic Johnson holds the record at 46 consecutive games with 10 or more assists.
Chris Wilcox dunked an alley-oop on Rondo’s 19th assist, then Terry made another 3-pointer to put Boston up 79-64 entering the fourth.
Rondo left the game shortly after reaching 20 assists early in the fourth, four short of his career high.
After trailing by as much as 17 in the first quarter, Toronto regrouped in the second and chipped into the lead with a 13-4 run. Lucas’ 3-pointer with 2:35 left pulled the Raptors within 42-39, but Pierce had a three-point play and the Celtics led 47-42 at halftime.
Boston still out of sync early in the third and a few fans started booing when DeRosa’s layup pulled Toronto within 55-53 with 6:38 left in the quarter.
Bargnani got Toronto close again with a pair of free throws, 63-61, with 3:30 left in the third. But Terry hit two 3-pointers as Boston went on an 11-1 run.
Toronto was coming off a win at Indiana on Tuesday and has yet to win back-to-back games this season. Boston was playing for the third time in four days and has a game at Detroit on Sunday night.