Celtics go to Toronto looking for 5th straight win



The Celtics visit our friends north of the border Wednesday (7 p.m., CSN) when they play the Toronto Raptors.

But this Raptors team has a different look than the one the C’s beat up on earlier this season – and have beaten up on for the past five-plus seasons.

Toronto recently traded starting guard Jose Calderon to Detroit and third-year forward Ed Davis to the Grizzlies in return for Grizzlies swingman Rudy Gay.

Gay, who averages 17.5 points and 5.8 rebounds, is clearly the best player in the deal today (look for Davis to eventually become the best player in the deal) and makes the Raptors better at least for now. That said, it’s probably too little too late for Toronto this season, which goes into tonight’s game with a record of 17-31, 11th in the Eastern Conference.

With Calderon gone, the Raptors can finally give point guard Kyle Lowry the minutes he needs. Lowry, who was traded to the Raptors over the offseason, had been splitting time with Calderon coming off the bench, and didn’t seem to be clicking with his teammates enough. Now, a lineup featuring Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Gay, Andrea Bargnani (when he returns from elbow injury) and rookie 7-footer Jonas Valanciunas, doesn’t look that bad.

In two games since Gay’s arrival, the Raptors beat the Clippers and lost to the Heat. Gay scored 20 and 29 points, respectively, in those games.

There will be growing pains for Toronto. The Celtics, however, haven’t experienced any pain since Rajon Rondo was lost for the season.

Boston is 4-0 without him so far, and inexplicably has been playing its best basketball in his absence. The C’s are scoring more points and allowing fewer points over the last four games than what they averaged in the 43 games before. And believe it or not, they’re averaging more assists per game without Rondo.

While the loss of Jared Sullinger hurts on the glass, the Raptors are just as bad as Boston at rebounding– so don’t look for that to be an issue Wednesday.

Instead, look to see how guards Lowry and DeRozan attack Boston’s point guard-less group, and if Paul Pierce and Jeff Green can contain Gay.

These two teams are going through major midseason changes, but Boston still has the edge.


Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.


Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…


Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…


Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…


Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.


Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."


Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

The Word

The Word: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally…

Well, everybody, it finally happened. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie went and got themselves hitched — according to noted scandal sheet the Associated Press —…


NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.


Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.


Giants vs. Patriots: 3 things to watch

The Giants wrap up their extended preseason campaign Thursday night by playing host to the Patriots.


Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.


Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…


4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…


Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…