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Celtics down Raptors to end slide
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The ailing Boston Celtics found a chance to rebound as they held off the Toronto Raptors 94-88 on Sunday.

The hot shooting of Ray Allen notched up season-high 36 points. The Celtics guard hit his initial six three-pointers, spurring the Atlantic Division leaders to their first win in five games.

Rajon Rondo contributed 14 points and 11 assists with Kevin Garnett adding 10 points and 11 rebounds in a strong defensive game.

Paul Pierce was also in double figures, scoring 11 points.

The Celtics have now beaten the Raptors four consecutive times in Air Canada Center and in seven of their past eight overall meetings.

Italian Andrea Bargnani led a balanced Toronto attack with 17 points and nine rebounds.

Chris Bosh had 15 points and 11 rebounds with Jamario Moon also scoring 15 points. Reserves Jason Kapono and Joey Graham added 12 each.

The Raptors trailed by 20 points in the third quarter before outscoring the Celtics 33-19 in the final period. They reeled off the opening six points of the fourth and pulled within four on Kapono's 12th point of the period with nine seconds to play.

Allen sealed the win with two free throws with seven seconds left as the Celtics improved to 7-1 in the division.

(Xinhua News Agency January 12, 2009)

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