Toronto wins on back-to-back nights

TORONTO (AP) -- Boston coach Jim O'Brien couldn't believe his
eyes, and neither could the rest of the Celtics. The Toronto
Raptors just couldn't miss from behind the arc.

Donyell Marshall and Vince Carter each scored 21 points and the
new-look Raptors set a franchise record with 17 3-pointers in a
105-95 victory over the Celtics on Wednesday night.

"That's the damnedest exhibition of shooting I've ever seen in
my life," O'Brien said. "That was spectacular. To hold a team to
31 percent inside the two and have them shoot 71 percent from the 3
is unexpected."

Alvin Williams added 18 points and Chris Bosh had 16 for the
Raptors, who reached a season-high in points.

The Raptors went 17-for-24 from behind the arc, breaking their
record of 15 3-pointers set Nov. 10, 2001 at Utah. The 17 3s also
were an NBA season-high.

"Every shot they took seemed to go in," Paul Pierce said.
"They move the ball well. It amazes me that they just brought this
team together in three or four days. They seem to play together
like they have been together all year."

Toronto, averaging a league-low 79 points per game, improved to
2-0 since acquiring Marshall, Jalen Rose and Lonny Baxter from
Chicago for Antonio Davis, Jerome Williams and Chris Jefferies.

Rose, Toronto's new starting point guard, had nine points and
five assists.

The Raptors haven't even had a full practice together since the
trade was finalized Monday.

"I'm not surprised with the energy level we played with,
especially the guys coming over from the trade," Rose said. "We
went from a situation where we only won four games in a month, and
now we have two wins in two days."

Pierce had 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the
Celtics, who have lost three straight and seven of nine.

Marshall made five of six 3-point attempts and grabbed eight
rebounds. Carter had 10 assists, one night after getting a
career-high 12.

"I'd love to have 10 assists a night. That's what makes me
happy," Carter said. "We have so many new guys that can shoot the
ball, and Alvin and Morris Peterson are knocking down shots now.
You just see a little swagger in our team right now."

The Celtics cut Toronto's lead to six points with seven minutes
left, but Marshall followed with a 3-pointer. Peterson and Marshall
hit consecutive 3-pointers, giving Toronto a 100-83 lead with 3:45

"We wanted to come in and give these guys a lift. So far, we've
been able to do that," Marshall said. "Dallas is the only other
team that is going to start a start a center that can go outside
and hit the 3."

The Raptors shot 38 percent in the first half compared to 50 for
the Celtics, and were outrebounded 27-19, but Toronto tied a
franchise record with nine 3-pointers in a half.

The Raptors scored 18 of their 23 first-quarter points via the
3-pointer. Williams and Rose made consecutive 3-pointers before
Carter made two free throws, giving Toronto a 10-point lead just
before the end of the half.

Game notes
O'Brien said Raef LaFrentz and Tony Battie won't be able to
practice this season because of sore knees. "We're not going to be
healthy this year. That's the bottom line. We have two big guys
that get a lot of minutes that are not going to be able to
practice, just play in the games," O'Brien said. Battie missed the
game because of the flu. LaFrentz played. ... Blue Jays general
manager J.P. Ricciardi attended the game. ... Peterson had 15
points, one shy of his season-high. ... The Raptors won the second
game of a back-to-back for the first time this season. They're 1-5
in such situations.


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