BOSTON (AP) — Rookie Luke Harangody had career highs with 17 points and 11 rebounds for his first NBA double-double, and the earned the 3,000th victory in franchise history, beating the 122-102 on Friday night.
Harangody, a rookie from Notre Dame, had never played more than 16 minutes in a game. He got in early for the short-handed Celtics and had doubled his career high for points (four) by the end of the first quarter. His previous highs for rebounds was also four.
Paul Pierce scored 20 and Ray Allen added 17 for Boston, which tied a season high for points in a half with 67 in the first and never let the Raptors get closer than 12 in the second half.
DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 20 points. Toronto has lost four of five and seven of nine despite shooting well (40 for 79) on Friday. But the Celtics outscored the Raptors 54-44 in the paint and outrebounded them 43-31.
The Raptors got as close as 13 in the third and were down 87-73 after two foul shots by Amir Johnson before Harangody helped quickly rebuild Boston’s lead. Pierce made two free throws to put the Celtics up 89-73, then Harangody blocked a layup attempt by Ed Davis and rumbled back to the Celtics’ end to score on his own layup with 1:53 left in the third.
Andrea Bargnani got Toronto within 98-86, but that was as close as the Raptors would come. The Celtics scored the next 10 points during a 15-1 run that sealed the victory and a 3-1 win for the Celtics in the season series.
Allen started it with a 3-pointer, Harangody hit an 18-footer and Nate Robinson took a steal in for a layup to put Boston ahead 109-86. Harangody showed some agility a few minutes later when he drove under the basket and banked in a reverse layup to put Boston up 113-87.
Fans reveled in the rookie’s career night and chanted “Luuuuke!” throughout the game.
Notes: All five Toronto starters scored in double figures. Linas Kleiza and Bargnani had 17 apiece. Jose Calderon scored 11 and Johnson added 10. … Coach said before the game that could return to the lineup as early as next week. The Celtics are 5-1 since the star forward went out with a right calf injury. … Friday’s win gave Rivers 308 with the Celtics, tying him with K.C. Jones for third on the franchise list — still a long way from Red Auerbach’s 795. … The Celtics also scored 67 points in the second half of their victory over the on Dec. 15.