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Playoff Push Suffers Another Setback Against Celtics
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BOX 

SCORE RECAP PHOTOS VIDEOS
FINAL SCORE
CELTICS 115 104 Raptors
Jay Satur
April 7, 2010
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON

At first glance, the Raptors fared well in some key categories. They held advantages scoring in the paint (48-24) and on the fast break (25-12), dominated the glass (55-40) and made 19 more free throws on 20 more attempts.

But Toronto shot just 39.1per cent on the evening versus 48 per cent for Golden State. Three-point shooting was the other key factor as the Warriors connected 13 times from long range compared to just three times for the Raptors.

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IT WAS OVER WHEN...

Despite the loss of another key player to a facial injury in Hedo Turkoglu, the Raptors were going toe-to-toe with the Celtics until well into the fourth quarter.

Ray Allen and Mike Finley appeared to seize control for the Celtics by pushing their lead to 13 before a 10-3 Raptors run, capped by a Jarrett Jack hook shot, gave Toronto life with 4:03 to play. But on the ensuing possession, Rajon Rondo hit a driving layup and drew the foul to restore a nine-point lead and the short-handed Raptors couldn't mount another charge.

THE GAME CHANGER

The hot fourth-quarter shooting of Allen and Finley propelled the Celtics late, but Rajon Rondo's second half gave the Celtics a big boost. The Boston floor general was looking more to create his own offence and attack coming out of halftime, scoring 16 of his team-high 21 points after the break.

"In the first half we tried to run to get some continuity and get more guys involved," Boston head coach Doc Rivers said. "In the second half we used (Rajon) Rondo as our attack weapon, so that is basically what happened."

THE UNDERRATED RAPTOR

Antoine Wright turned in a gutsy performance in limited minutes off the bench on Wednesday. Wright, who started the previous seven games, came in after Hedo Turkoglu went down with a nasal contusion midway through the first quarter and despite playing hurt, brought the requisite edge needed to compete with a team like Boston.

Wright went on to play nearly every minute of the second and third quarters until his sprained ankle suffered on Tuesday forced him to sit out of the fourth, finishing with 17 points (6-11 FGM-A) and adding seven rebounds.

THAT'S A RAP

"Tonight is a start and we don’t really have much time, we have to play again on Friday. It’s going to be tough, but these guys are getting a chance to play and they are liking it. The games mean a lot and they know that and they are laying it out there and that is all we can expect from them in the last four games."

- Head coach Jay Triano on playing without Chris Bosh.

3-GAME OUTLOOK

Fri., April 9 @ Atlanta Hawks
7:30 PM ET (TSN, FAN590)

GAME NOTES:
Things don't get any easier for the Raptors, who must now travel to Philips Arena for a battle with the Hawks. Toronto has dropped two of three against Atlanta this season, but took the most recent matchup on a Chris Bosh jumper at the buzzer on St. Patrick's Day at ACC. The Hawks have dropped three of their last four games with all three losses coming on the road. The Raptors now hold just a half-game lead over Chicago for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East with the Bulls hosting Cavaliers on Thursday.

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The Numbers
3 Consecutive games where Toronto has surrendered at least 30 points to an opponent in the first quarter
6 Consecutive wins for the Celtics over the Raptors at ACC
12 Free throw attemtps for the Raptors, versus 33 for the Celtics
58-46 Bench scoring favouring the Raptors
41.7 Shooting percentage for the Raptors starters (20-48 FGM-A)
They Said It...
Doc Rivers "Eddie (Lacerte, Trainer) going to the game today told me Michael (Finley) couldn’t play, because he strained his back in the room picking up luggage, that’s when you know you’re old. Mike (Finley) went out and warmed up and said he felt great."
- Celtics head coach Doc Rivers on Michael Finley's performance.
Chris Bosh "When it rains it pours I guess. We are dropping like flies right now. Reflecting on the game, we played really hard and put ourselves in a position to win."
- Antoine Wrighton the recent injuries to the Raptors.
Sonny Weems "We knew we were down CB (Chris Bosh) and Turk (Hedo Turkoglu). We had to fight because we had two of our best players down on our team. Other players had to step up and I think we showed a little bit of fight this game."
- Sonny Weems on playing short-handed.