Raptors aim to solve Boston woes

( - The Toronto Raptors have struggled a bit lately, but they will try and get back on track Wednesday night when they visit TD Bank Garden to face their Atlantic Division rivals, the Boston Celtics.

The two teams will jump it up in Toronto on Friday.


The Raptors have dropped four of their last six and are only a 1 1/2 games clear of the Brooklyn Nets for supremacy in the Atlantic Division. Toronto fell a half-game behind the Chicago Bulls for third in the Eastern Conference.

On Tuesday, the Raptors lost, 102-100, at Quicken Loans Arena to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Kyle Lowry finished with 22 points and 10 helpers for Toronto. Terrence Ross and Greivis Vasquez scored 16 points apiece. DeMar DeRozan chipped in 13 and Amir Johnson added 12.

The Raptors trailed by as many as 21 early in the third quarter, but took the lead in the fourth. Cleveland rallied back to lead by three in the final seconds when DeRozan drove and drew a foul on Alonzo Gee.


DeRozan split the pair with 7.8 seconds to play, cutting the margin to two, and after spending a timeout, Anderson Varejao overthrew Deng on the inbounds at the other end, giving the ball back to Toronto.

On the final possession, Vasquez drove left on Jack but lost his footing, forcing a pass that Deng easily intercepted to run out the remaining time.

"It was just a bad play for me. I'll take responsibility," Vasquez said. "I was trying to spin, going to my weak hand, and I lost my balance. That's a good learning experience for me because I like being in during crunch time."

The Celtics have lost six of the last seven, although they prevailed last time at home with a 101-96 victory over the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat.

However, their last time out was not a successful experience, losing in Brooklyn to the Nets, 114-98 on Friday.

Avery Bradley scored a game-high 28 points and Jeff Green added 16 for the Celtics.

"When he (Bradley) gets hot, he's hard to stop," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "He got his jump shot going when he saw the ball go through the net on layups."


Rajon Rondo registered a double-double with 12 points and 12 assists and Kris Humphries chipped in 12.

These two Atlantic Division rivals have split two meetings this season with the home team winning each time. The Raptors have lost 11 straight in Beantown, last winning there Jan. 23, 2008 (114-112).


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