Garnett powers Celtics past Raptors 99-95 for fifth straight win

Kevin Garnett leads the Celtics past the revamped Raptors 99-95 to extend the winning streak to five.

Toronto (17-32) was a part of the only blockbuster trade that’s gone down so far this season and they acquired the best player in the deal in Rudy Gay.

Gay and Demar DeRozan did not waste any time in this game as the high-flying wings scored the Raptors first 10 points. Kevin Garnett also got off to a quick start shooting 3-3 for six points in the first quarter. The Raptors ended the first quarter up 23-20 on the Celtics.

The beginning of the second quarter saw some pretty gross ball movement by both squads with neither team having a decent point guard on the floor or a true point on either team. Lots of loose balls and turnovers as guys either weren’t ready for a pass or tried to do too much. Jose Calderon who could have been dealt to Boston after Rajon Rondo went down with the ACL injury, was dealt to Detroit in the Rudy Gay deal.

With four minutes left in the first half, Doc Rivers got a technical for, well, being Doc. In the replay, Doc just raised his hands and said something about a call that should have been made, you know, coaching. And the refs weren’t having any of it.

Lots of scoring in the half as the Celtics (25-23) led the Raptors 50-45.

Courtney Lee had a nice first half with 11 points on 5-7 shooting, Garnett had 14 points and six rebounds and Paul Pierce was the other Celtic in double digits with 10 points.

Kyle Lowry, another Raptor rumored to be moved to Boston before the trade, had a dismal first two quarters scoring just three points, but came out on strong in the third quarter scoring five points in the first four minutes.

But it wasn’t just Lowry as all of the Raptors came out with more energy taking a 10 point lead into the fourth quarter.

Boston wasn’t going to lie down as they came out in the fourth and scored 10 straight. Barbosa had himself a night, scoring five straight to give the Celtics the lead halfway through the fourth and finished with 14 points in 21 minutes.

Toronto simply lost its composure down the stretch and the Celtics got key rebounds and made free throws to ice the game.

Garnett was the player of the game with 27 points and 10 rebounds and all five starters finished in double figures.

Pierce finished with another “I have no legs” night going scoreless for most of the second half and finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

For the Raptors, Gay finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds, Lowry had 17 points and 8 assists, Bargnani had 13 points and Amir Johnson chipped in with 16 points and 9 rebounds.

Toronto looks to be out of playoff contention as they sit 11th in the Eastern Conference and finished 6 1/2 games behind Boston for the final playoff spot. They could still be a dangerous team when Bargnani is back to starting and he, Lowry and DeRozan start to gel with Gay. Lots of offense, but they don’t put much emphasis on the defensive end of the floor.

For Boston, they remain in the eighth playoff spot, but could be tied for seventh if Milwaukee loses in Utah later tonight.

Other notes:

Rivers has now won 400 games as coach of the Celtics.

Boston had 13 turnovers compared to Toronto’s 15.

The Celtics were outrebounded by the Raptors 43-41.

Fab Melo was the only Celtic not to see minutes.

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