Celtics Look to Get Back on Track Against Raptors

It is safe to say not many people saw last night’s 24-point loss to the Charlotte Bobcats coming. That now marks the Celtics’ second consecutive loss. Most disturbing was the offense, which failed to score 80 points again during this brief two-game skid.

Luckily, the ship can be quickly righted tonight against an ailing Toronto Raptors (25-39).

While the Celtics (35-29) have been no stranger to injuries this year, it is Tortonto experiencing injury problems right now.The Raptors announced today that center Andrea Bargnani will likely miss the remainder of the season due to an elbow sprain.

Rudy Gay, Toronto’s prized acquisition this season, is listed as questionable for tonight’s game with a stiff neck. Gay missed Toronto’s last game on Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Making matters worse for the Raptors is the fact they must travel away from Canada. Toronto is just 9-23 on the road this season, while Boston has won nine straight games at the TD Garden.

Boston should also see the return of Paul Pierce, who sat out last night’s loss in Charlotte for rest. It was the first game Pierce has missed this season.

In the last meeting against the Raptors, resulting in a four-point win for Boston, Pierce scored just 11 points on 12 shots. The Celtics should expect more from the fresh legs of the Captain tonight though.

Even if Pierce does score just 11 points, he will pass Charles Barkley for 20th all-time on the NBA’s scoring list. Pierce is just nine points away from Barkley’s 23,757 career total.

Pierce isn’t the only one capable of achieving a scoring milestone. Kevin Garnett will surpass the NBA logo, Jerry West, for 15th all-time with just four points.

The individual greatness will be soured though if the Celtics don’t manage to pick up a victory tonight. With only 18 games remaining in the regular season, every game becomes increasingly vital for playoff positioning.

The Celtics still sit just one game behind the Chicago Bulls for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. A Boston win and Chicago loss tonight would bring them to a tie.

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