for this game

Robinson scores 23, Celtics beat Raptors 117-112

Oct 16, 2010 - 3:17 AM TORONTO (AP) -- Rajon Rondo didn't take a single free throw in Boston's first three preseason games. He's turned that trend around in the Celtics' past two contests.

Nate Robinson scored 23 points, Rondo had 21 and the Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 117-112 in an exhibition game Friday night.

Rondo shot 12 for 15 at the line, as Boston outscored Toronto 41-30 in the third quarter to put the Raptors away.

"We had a lot of opportunities on the fast break," Rondo said. "I just tried to go and attack and draw fouls."

Celtics coach Doc Rivers spoke to Rondo during Wednesday's win at New York and urged him to try and get to the line more often.

"At halftime of the Knick game I told him, at that point, he hadn't taken a free throw in the preseason," Rivers said. "I said 'Rondo, you have to get to the line."'

Rondo took the advice, attempting four free throws in the second half of that game before Friday's third quarter burst.

Besides Rondo's newfound aggressiveness, Rivers was also happy with his team's defensive effort.

"The first five minutes of the third quarter, that was our Celtic defense," Rivers said. "You felt for the first time since the first preseason game, they just locked in. There were no shots anywhere."

Boston led by 29 but had to hold on late for its fifth win in six preseason games as the Raptors rallied from a 101-73 deficit after three quarters, outscoring the Celtics 39-16 in the fourth.

Toronto's Sonny Weems made a pair of 3-pointers and Marcus Banks made one of two from the line to cut it to 112-108 with 38 seconds left, but Robinson answered with a pair of free throws to push the lead back to six.

The late push did little to calm Raptors coach Jay Triano, who was furious with his team's lack of effort in the first three quarters.

"We didn't work hard until the fourth quarter," Triano fumed. "We got our (butts) kicked."

Linas Kleiza and Andrea Bargnani each scored 15 points for the Raptors, who have lost three of four.

Ray Allen scored 15 points, and Marquis Daniels and Von Wafer each had 14 for the defending Eastern Conference champions.

Boston starters Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O'Neal both played 15 minutes, with Garnett scoring eight points and O'Neal adding four.

Bargnani continued to struggle with his shooting, going 5 for 16. The top pick in the 2006 draft, Bargnani is 16 for 64 in five preseason games.

Weems and Leandro Barbosa each scored 12 points for the Raptors, with Banks and Amir Johnson both adding 10.

Boston forward Glenn Davis, who skipped Wednesday's win at New York with a sore left knee, returned to the lineup but fouled out after scoring five points in 10 minutes.

The Celtics shot 7 for 11 from 3-point range in the first half, including two each from Daniels and Robinson, to lead 60-43 at the intermission.

NOTES: Shaquille O'Neal (hip) did not play for the Celtics, who were also without Paul Pierce. Shaq and Pierce are expected to play against the New York Knicks in Hartford, Conn., on Saturday. ... Boston's Stephane Lasme, from Gabon, did not travel to Toronto because coach Doc Rivers wanted to avoid any visa problems at customs. Delonte West (back spasms) also skipped the trip. ... Former Raptors player Charles Oakley attended the game, as did actor Steve Schirripa.