BOSTON – Rajon Rondo made up for lost time in a big way for the Boston Celtics after missing a game because of a sprained right ankle.
Rondo had 20 assists for the second time this season and added six points to help the Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 107-89 on Saturday.
Jason Terry scored 20 points, Paul Pierce added 19 points and six rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter, and Kevin Garnett scored 15 points in 17 minutes of playing time.
The Celtics held big leads early and late but had to survive several surges in between while winning for the fourth time in five games. And any worries Boston fans might have had about Rondo’s ankle were quickly washed away when he had seven assists in the first quarter.
We have an offense and then he creates another offense at times, Boston coach Doc Rivers said.
Rondo appeared at full strength after sitting out a loss at Brooklyn on Thursday night. He had 11 assists at halftime, extending his streak of consecutive games with double-digit assists to 33.
Something I look forward to every game is just trying to make my teammates happy. And somehow I keep getting to 10, Rondo said. Tonight it was a collective team effort as far as assists.
The Celtics had assists on 37 of 43 field goals, with Rondo leading the way and finishing just four shy of his career high.
Rondo, who played only 1:26 in the fourth quarter, is within four games of tying John Stockton for the second-longest streak in NBA history for consecutive games with 10 or more assists. Magic Johnson holds the record at 46.
I’m making some OK passes – just taking what the defense gives me, said Rondo, who left the game shortly after reaching 20 assists early in the fourth. It means my teammates are making shots.
Andrea Bargnani and John Lucas led Toronto with 15 points apiece. DeMar DeRozan, Jose Calderon, Terrence Ross and Linas Kleiza added 10 each for Toronto.
MAVERICKS 103, CAVALIERS 95: In Cleveland, O.J. Mayo scored 19 points and Dallas used a pair of 9-0 runs in the fourth quarter to defeat Cleveland.
Chris Kaman scored 15 points while Vince Carter and Darren Collison added 14 apiece for Dallas, which won on the road for the second time in six games.
Kyrie Irving, who left the game briefly in the third quarter with a finger injury, led Cleveland with 26 points, but the Cavaliers lost their fifth straight game.
Mayo hit a three-pointer and a layup down the stretch to spark Dallas, which outscored the Cavaliers 28-22 in the final period. The Mavericks had six players score in double figures.
Dion Waiters and Daniel Gibson had 16 points apiece for Cleveland.
JAZZ 83, WIZARDS 76: In Washington, Al Jefferson scored 21 points, Gordon Hayward added 15 in his first game as a reserve this season, and Utah kept Washington winless.
The Jazz committed 19 turnovers but pulled away in the fourth quarter while closing a four-game road trip with a sloppy performance – and got away with it because they were playing the Wizards. Washington became only the second team in NBA history to start 0-8 in back-to-back seasons.
Jordan Crawford scored 20 points for the Wizards.
GRIZZLIES 94, BOBCATS 87: In Charlotte, N.C., Mike Conley scored 20 points and Memphis beat Charlotte for its eighth consecutive victory.
Zach Randolph added 18 points and 12 rebounds, and three other players scored in double figures for the Grizzlies, who own the NBA’s best record at 8-1. Rudy Gay had 16 points and Marc Gasol and Tony Allen scored 12 apiece.
Memphis led by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter.
Byron Mullens scored 18 points and Kemba Walker added 17 for the Bobcats.