Rondo hands out 20 assists in Celtics win

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 18 2012 09:31 AM | Updated as of Nov 18 2012 05:31 PM

BOSTON, Massachusetts - Boston point guard Rajon Rondo returned from an ankle injury Saturday and handed out 20 assists as he piloted the Celtics to a 107-89 NBA victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Rondo, who missed Thursday's loss to the Brooklyn Nets with a sprained right ankle, had the Celtics' offense firing on all cylinders.

Jason Terry made four three-pointers en route to scoring 20 points and Paul Pierce added 19 points and six rebounds for the Celtics, who improved to 6-4.

"He's Peyton Manning out there," Boston's Courtney Lee said, likening Rondo to the master NFL quarterback now with the Denver Broncos.

"He's picking the defense apart and he's getting the ball to guys in the right position to score. He was actually mad about the 20 assists -- he thought he could have gotten 30."

Kevin Garnett scored 15 points and Jared Sullinger recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Celtics.

Andrea Bargnani and John Lucas ended with 15 points apiece for the Raptors, who have now lost nine straight games in Boston.

The Celtics were on fire in the first quarter, connecting on 73.7 percent of their shots from the floor to jump to a 30-17 lead.

They led by as many as 16 early in the second quarter, but Toronto put together a couple of good runs to trim the deficit to 47-42 at halftime.

"We were getting stops and it allowed us to run, get those easy buckets in transition," said Raptors head coach Dwane Casey. "And that's what it was that got us to run, and we had a rhythm going."

After a close third quarter, Boston bridged the third and fourth periods with a 19-2 scoring run and cruised home from there.

"We had a bad defensive stretch and they went up about 20 points and that was the game right there," Bargnani said.

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