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Injuries Pile Up As Raptors Dropped By Celtics At ACC

Related: Box Score | Bosh Likely Out For Remainder Of Regular Season | Photos
Video: Game In Six | Triano | Wright | Weems | DeRozan | Bargnani
More Video: Jack & Devlin | Bosh Injury Update | Calderon Finds Bargnani | Bargnani's Block Leads The Break | DeRozan With The Reverse
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April 7, 2010

TORONTO (CP) -- Battered faces, twisted ankles and bruised egos are threatening to torpedo the Toronto Raptors' playoff chances.

Rajon Rondo had 11 of his 21 points in the third quarter as the Boston Celtics beat undermanned Toronto 115-104. It was a sour day all-around for the Raptors, who discovered they would likely be without all-star Chris Bosh for the remainder of the regular season after he underwent surgery to repair a nasal fracture.

In a cruel twist, forward Hedo Turkoglu left Wednesday's game late in the first quarter after being headbutted in nearly the exact same area. He suffered a nasal contusion and was sent to Mount Sinai Hospital for a CT scan.

There was no immediate update on his status.

Turkoglu wasn't the only Toronto player to end the night in pain. Antoine Wright aggravated an ankle injury and sat for most of the fourth quarter, while fellow guard Jarrett Jack was limping around after rolling his ankle late. Forward Amir Johnson crashed into Glen Davis earlier in the second half and was also hobbled.

Wright was incredulous after the game.

``When it rains it pours, I guess,'' he said. ``We're dropping like flies right now.''

The injuries have come at the worst possible time for the Raptors (38-40), who lost their second straight and now lead the idle Chicago Bulls by just a half-game in the race for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Bosh's absence was damaging enough, but the loss of Turkoglu early in Wednesday's game left the Raptors with few answers for the Celtics, who finally put the game away early in the fourth quarter.

Raptors coach Jay Triano applauded his team for hanging tough against the three-time Atlantic Division champs.

``I thought (our guys) played their asses off,'' he said. ``I thought they played as hard as they could. I commended them for their effort after the game; they really battled.''

Paul Pierce added 20 points, Kevin Garnett 19 and Ray Allen 18 for the Celtics (49-29), who rebounded from an embarrassing loss to the New York Knicks a night earlier. Michael Finley scored 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter for Boston.

``Our shooting won the game for us tonight,'' said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. ``When Ray and Michael get it going at the same time and they're both on the floor, that makes us really good because we can still pound the ball down low and affect the other team's ability to take the low-post game away.''

Sonny Weems had a career-high 21 points for Toronto, while Jack, Wright and Andrea Bargnani added 17 points apiece in defeat.

Bosh spent a second night in a Cleveland hospital after undergoing successful surgery for a fractured nose suffered in Tuesday's 113-101 loss to the Cavaliers. Raptors medical director and orthopedic surgeon Paul Marks said Bosh would be re-evaluated in seven to 10 days, all but eliminating any chance of him returning for the team's final five regular-season games.

Triano said Wednesday's effort was a decent first step in his team's quest to hold off the Bulls.

``It's going to be tough, but these guys are getting a chance to play and they are liking it,'' said Triano. ``The games mean a lot and they know that, and they're laying it out there ... and that's all we can expect from them in the last four games.''

The Raptors weren't just banged-up Wednesday -- they were frustrated, as well.

Triano lamented the free-throw disparity, which saw Boston earn 33 trips to the line compared to just 12 for Toronto. He muted his comments for fear of being fined by the league.

``It's not like we played our slower guys,'' said Triano. ``We played Sonny and DeMar, and Andrea took it (to the basket).

``I thought we shot our 12 extremely well, making all 12. So much so that I wish we would have shot more.''

For guard Jose Calderon, the sore point came late in the first half, when he airballed a three-point attempt and was showered with boos. Calderon held his palms up and confusedly said, ``Boo?''

The incident still bothered him well after the game was over.

``I've been here five years, and I think this is the moment we need everybody together,'' said Calderon. ``I felt really hurt when I was out there, and we missed a couple shots, and people booed us. I took it a little bit personal, because I've given a lot to this team.

``(If) we miss one shot, and we don't have the people with us, it's tough to play like that.''

With Boston trailing 54-52 after a topsy-turvy first half, Rondo gave the Celtics a third-quarter jolt, scoring six straight points to put Boston up 66-62. He added a three as the shot clock expired later in the quarter, giving the Celtics an 82-76 edge after three.

The lead grew to nine on an Allen three-pointer, and he followed with a nifty behind-the-back fake for a layup as the Air Canada Centre crowd of 18,793 oohed in appreciation. Allen finished with eight points during the quarter-opening 12-4 run.

Toronto made a game of it, a Jack teardrop drawing the Raptors to within six with four minutes remaining. Rondo followed with a driving layup and made the ensuing foul shot, and the Raptors wouldn't get closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Notes: Weems scored just four points after halftime. ... The Raptors have a 10-1 record against Atlantic Division opponents other than the Celtics. ... Rondo came in averaging 17 points, 12 assists and six rebounds and 2.5 steals in his previous two games against Toronto. ... The Raptors were the last team to win the Atlantic prior to the Celtics, capturing their first and only division crown in 2006-07.