"We just have to learn how to win," said Villanueva, who
scored all 18 of points in the first half in the Raptors' 100-93
loss to Boston on Friday night.
"We played a pretty decent half, but didn't get it done when it
counted the most. We dug ourselves this hole and now we have to dig
Toronto cut the Celtics' lead to one at 90-89 on Chris Bosh's
dunk with 1:59 to play, but Boston responded with a 10-4 run --
including four points each from Mark Blount and Paul Pierce -- to
put the Raptors away.
"They're struggling now, but when you think of Bosh, Villanueva
and Joey Graham, it's not a bad future for them," Celtics coach
Doc Rivers said. "I remember the experts on draft day ripping
Villanueva. They should all line up now and apologize."
Bosh had 24 points and 14 rebounds for his sixth straight
double-double and seventh of the season.
Pierce and Ricky Davis each scored 26 for the Celtics, leading
Boston to its seventh victory in its last eight games against
"I think we played with a lot more energy," said Pierce, who
added 11 rebounds and five assists. "We scrapped for loose balls
and that's what we're going to need to do on a more consistent
basis. We're playing a team with they're back up against the wall,
desperate for a win, and we were able to pull it out."
Davis had seven assists, Mark Blount scored 14 points for the
Celtics, including two big baskets down the stretch, and Delonte
West added 13.
Morris Peterson added 16 points for the Raptors. Coming off his
first scoreless night in more than seven years, Jalen Rose scored
11 points, and Mike James, following a career-high 38 points, was
limited to 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting.
Villanueva was 3-of-4 from beyond the arc to give the Raptors a
48-44 halftime lead. The Raptors lead by as many as 10 points in
the half, but West's 3-pointer and a 12-foot jumper by Davis cut
the halftime deficit to four.
With the signing of Darrick Martin, the Raptors have five
players who shoot left-handed: Martin, Bosh, Peterson, Rose and
Aaron Williams. ... Boston's Raef LaFrentz reached 5,000 career
points with a free throw with 4:34 left.
Marc Stein provides an update on Kevin Durant's free agent status, with the Warriors, Spurs and Thunder setting up meetings. Stein believes Thunder have a great shot to keep him, but they still have to make their pitch.
Kevin Durant, the top prize of the 2016 free-agent market, will sit down first with the Warriors, Spurs and Thunder, sources said.
Jalen Rose and David Jacoby react to President Obama and Tyronn Lue's phone call in which the President urges Coach Lue to have his players keep their shirts on.