Friday , Jan , 26 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Slumping Celtics pay a visit to Toronto

(Sports Network) – The struggling Boston Celtics try and stop their
season-high nine-game losing streak this evening when they visit the Toronto
Raptors at the Air Canada Centre.

Boston is suffering through its longest losing streak in seven years and has
dropped 16 of the last 18 games. On Wednesday the Celtics suffered an 82-76
loss to the Atlanta Hawks at TD Banknorth Garden.

Delonte West scored 18 points and Kendrick Perkins had 15 points and 12 boards
for the struggling Celtics, who are tied with Philadelphia for last place in
the Atlantic Division. Boston’s franchise record for most consecutive losses
is 13 in the 1996-97 season.

Boston fell to 2-15 with star forward Paul Pierce out of the lineup. Pierce
hasn’t played since December 22 with a stress reaction in his left foot for
Boston, which lost forward Al Jefferson against Atlanta in the fourth quarter
with a mild right ankle sprain.

Jefferson finished with 11 points and 10 boards and is listed as questionable
for Friday.

Meanwhile, the Raptors will wrap up a five-game homestand versus Boston and
are 3-1 so far on the stand. Toronto posted a 90-88 win over the New
Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets on Wednesday at the Air Canada Centre.

Chris Bosh scored a season-high 35 points on 11-for-19 shooting, as Toronto
improved to 13-7 as the host this season. Jose Calderon notched 14 points and
eight assists for the Raptors, while Anthony Parker added 12 points and nine

Raptors point guard T.J. Ford sat out with a sore right ankle, which got
stepped on December 29th against Chicago, along with Andrea Bargnani (flu-like
symptoms). Both players are questionable for Friday night’s game.

Bosh was selected as a starter for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star
game, slated for February 18 in Las Vegas.

Boston and Toronto are playing the third of four meetings this season. The
Raptors have won both matchups so far, but the Celtics are 5-3 over the past
eight encounters.

Boston has lost two of three and three of its last five at Toronto.