It was a historic night for the Boston Celtics even if the final score (a 112-88 Celtics win) suggests it lacked excitement.
With their championship experience and one of the premier coaches in the sport, the Celtics will be a tough playoff out regardless of their seeding.
But that doesn't mean that the Celtics (who entered the night tied with the Atlanta Hawks for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference) would mind improving their position over the regular season's final month.
With only a game between them and the fifth-seeded Chicago Bulls (who have a late game against the Sacramento Kings tonight), a home date with the Toronto Raptors looked like just the type of game they needed. Considering the Celtics were less than 24 hours removed from a head-scratching 26-point loss to the Charlotte Bobcats, though, they're not in a position to overlook this kind of game.
Luckily, it was a fact apparently not lost on coach Doc Rivers. After a frustrating first quarter left the Celtics facing a one-point deficit, a re-energized Boston attack led to a blistering 28-18 attack in the second quarter that gave the club a 49-40 lead at intermission.
After another plus-10 quarter advantage (32-22 in the third), Rivers bought his veterans some needed rest on the back end of a back-to-back set. It also gave Boston its 35th win of the season.
Rudy Gay scored a team-high 19 points for the Raptors, who fell to 25-40 on the year.