for this game

Banged-up Celtics visit shorthanded Raptors

Jan 2, 2011 - 3:39 PM (Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics have been rather adept at persevering through injuries this season but a calf strain to star forward Kevin Garnett has proven to be too much to handle, at least thus far.

The Celtics will try to figure it out tonight as they aim to avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season north of the border against Atlantic Division rival Toronto.

Garnett hurt his right calf early against Detroit on Wednesday and the C's went on to lose 104-92 before following that with another setback to New Orleans on Friday. Chris Paul scored 20 points and handed out 11 assists, while Emeka Okafor supplied 18 points and 13 rebounds in that one as the Hornets outlasted Boston, 83-81, at TD Garden.

Ray Allen scored 18 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists and Paul Pierce chipped in with 12 points and seven boards for the Celtics, who have also been without star point guard Rajon Rondo (sprained left ankle) and have lost three out of four overall.

Garnett is expected to miss two weeks of action while Rondo, who has missed the team's last seven games, is getting closer and was able to practice on the side Friday.

"Right now with so many guys out, our starters have to be solid every night for us to win," Boston head coach Doc Rivers said. "We had opportunities to win. We turned the ball over 17 times. We had a little bit of 'hero' ball. Usually you lose when that happens."

The Raptors, meanwhile, certainly will not be crying for Boston. Already without center Andrea Bargnani (strained left calf), sharp-shooter Peja Stojakovic (swollen left knee), rebounding machine Reggie Evans (broken foot) and swingman Sonny Weems (back spasms), Toronto lost for the fourth time in five games on Friday when Chase Budinger led a balanced attack with 22 points and Kevin Martin added 20 as Houston closed out 2010 with a 114-105 victory over the Raptors at Toyota Center.

DeMar DeRozan made 12-of-21 shots from the floor and 13-of-14 from the foul line en route to a career-high 37 points for the Raptors.

"I just wanted to be aggressive," DeRozan said. "(The Rockets) were playing tough with us. I just took the opportunity to play hard with them."

Linas Kleiza scored 17 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, and Amir Johnson added 14 points and 11 boards in defeat, while Jerryd Bayless was able to play only eight minutes before aggravating a left ankle sprain.

Bayless, along with Weems and Bargnani are listed as questionable for tonight's contest.

Toronto snapped an eight-game skid to Boston with a 102-101 win at Air Canada Centre back on Nov. 21 but the Celtics rebounded to beat the Dinos again five days later in Beantown.