Rondo Scores 17 as Celtics Beat Raptors 81-73

BOSTON (AP) — Rajon Rondo scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half, leading the Boston Celtics to an 81-73 victory over Toronto on Wednesday night and a sweep of their two-game preseason series with the Raptors.

Rondo, the subject of post-lockout trade rumors involving Chris Paul before Paul was dealt to the Los Angeles Clippers, had 10 points in the first 8 minutes. Rondo had seven assists and two steals in 23 minutes.

Paul Pierce missed the game for the Celtics with a heel problem.

Andrea Bargnani led the Raptors with 20 points, and DeMar DeRozan had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

The Celtics open the regular season against the New York Knicks in New York on Christmas Day, while the Raptors open their season Monday night at Cleveland.

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Celtics’ Green to Undergo Season-Ending Surgery for Aneurysm

The aneurysm was detected during a team physical last week, and after additional testing doctors recommended surgery, the Celtics said.

The surgery, at the Cleveland Clinic on January 9, should completely repair Green’s condition and he can expect to resume his NBA career next season, the team said in a statement.

“While we are saddened that Jeff will not be able to play this season, the most important thing is his health,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said.

Green, 25, was a first-round draft pick for the Celtics in 2007. He was traded to Seattle the same day and played three-plus seasons for Seattle/Oklahoma City before rejoining the Celtics in February as part of a trade.

He played in 75 regular-season games for Oklahoma City and Boston last season, averaging 13.3 points and 4.8 rebounds.

(Writing by Gene Cherry in Salvo; editing by Stephen Wood)

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Celtics Make Green Offer, Exercise Bradley Option

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Celtics have made a qualifying offer to forward Jeff Green, making him a restricted free agent.

Also Thursday, the team exercised its option on guard Avery Bradley for the 2012-13 season. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Green averaged 9.8 points and 3.3 rebounds with the Celtics last season after coming to Boston in the trade that sent Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City.

Bradley averaged 1.7 points in 5.2 minutes per game as a rookie for the Celtics. He was Boston’s first-round draft pick, 19th overall.

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